I was questioned this week about what my vision was for writing this blog. I guess there are several reasons why I started it and there are several topics that I want to cover in it. There are things that I am passionate about, and that I want to share with my readers. As time goes on, the viewership of my blog is increasing. I do not have a ton of people that look at my blog, but from the statistics that are provided, I am seeing it to be in the low hundreds at times. I do not know who all these people are, but I know some of them and their viewership is greatly appreciated.
This blog is not being done for profit. Although I have entertained the prospect of writing for supplementing my family’s income, I am not doing so at this time. If I ever do write for profit it will be done so in complete compliance with any laws concerning Trademark and Copy Write. This blog is simply being done to share with my readers the people and things that I am passionate about. I want to give people a glimpse of what makes me tick, what drives me, what is important to me. Even now, I want to apply laws and standards to this blog as if it was for profit. If you know me, you know that I am conscientious to a fault. Above all else, I want to draw attention not to myself but to those who have had a big impact on my life. I want to honor my heroes.
Those heroes can be tiny people with rare diseases, or big people with disabilities, or just normal people that have done great things. Most certainly, this blog exists to honor the brave and selfless individuals who have sacrificed their health and well being to serve this great country “outside the wire”. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice and they will never be forgotten by this regular guy.
As I write this blog entry today, it’s Memorial Day weekend. That means we have an extra day to spend time with friends and family, and also to rest and have fun. Please, DO NOT forget the brave men and women that have given their very lives in the name of freedom for our entire civilization. Honor and Respect!!
I was talking with one of my co-workers who is sort of a history buff. In between his time in the military and coming back to aviation, he worked in a saw mill. He was telling me about some of the stories that he had heard from some of the older guys that may have either served in World War II, or were affected by it in some way. He noted that the course of their lives had been altered by a single small event. One event after another built upon that first event and their lives were changed as a result forever. I have felt that as of late for myself, except on a smaller scale of course.
This is my last blog entry about what I have titled My FEARLESS Advaenture. I have told you how I was in a Christian bookstore one day with my family and saw a book about a Navy SEAL. I devoured that book in a couple of days and became hungry for more. My reading continued, and the more I read, the more intense my desire to learn about the Warrior Class grew. The training that is involved, and the mental and physical toughness required to complete it, sets these people apart from all others.
I eventually discovered a book that ran I into in a book store called FEARLESS which was written by a man named Eric Blehm. He is an excellent author. I have read other books by him and they are all exceptional. I at first picked up FEARLESS and looked at the back cover. Something made me put it back down but I would later go on to read it. Upon doing so, I was just stunned that a story like this could have actually taken place. It was just that incredible. Like a teenage girl at a Beatle’s concert in the 60s, I have a tendency to idolize people that I am awed by. I definitely was in awe of Adam Brown after reading the book.
I think that social media is a great thing if it is used properly and so I am on Facebook. Through Facebook, I found Adam’s R.I.P. page. Through that page I picked up new friends who are followers of Adam. By that I mean people that have been impacted by his life. It was through that page that I found out about
Fearless Rock – The Adam L. Brown Underwater Memorial. I became friends with its creator and that friendship has become a very important part of my life. I will talk more about this friendship in a bit.
Can you tell that I have written on the topic of this series with passion? I have read a lot of great books about the warrior class. All of these individuals deserve our complete respect and admiration. Adam’s life and the details concerning his family set FEARLESS apart in my mind. As I have said before, there are other things and people that have left me feeling connected to the state of Arkansas. It’s like my adopted state. I love the southern culture for a variety of reasons. As beautiful as it is here in Oregon, Arkansas has its own beauty and I wouldn’t mind calling it home.
If you have been following along you know that I have made two trips to Hot Springs. The first trip was to meet Will Stevens and members of the Fearless Rock team, as well as to dive Fearless Rock. I brought my little family and connections were made along with memories that will never be forgotten. We made the sacrifices that we thought were necessary to make it happen and I will never regret having done so.
Seeing Fearless Rock in June, in all its glory was just spectacular. The challenge coins that adorn the verse stone during the summer months, and the granite marker that makes up the center piece of the memorial were breathtaking to see in person. Imagine following the project from the very start and then getting to travel the distance to see it in person. The only way to experience the magnifying effects of the water on Adam’s memorial is to see it in person. The trip went flawlessly and the only thing that I missed out on was meeting Adam’s parents. That would come later.
Will has told me that there was some opposition to him and his team building the memorial, but that most people thought it was an exceptional way to honor their hometown hero. He pressed on and did what he felt he was called to do. That is to achieve what he had envisioned for honoring Adam Brown. He had a Never Quit attitude that any Special Operator would have appreciated. The memorial continues to pick up notoriety and people from all over come to see it. You have to be a diver though and Fearless Rock is the reason I dive today! Will has encouraged me in my blogging. I lost sleep this week. It was hard for me. As I was at work yesterday my FB chat notified me of a message. It was Will. He sent me a message that said in part:
“Remain focused on the reason why you started this blog in the first place and don't let anyone try to change who you are or what you write. You have a good heart and a beautiful spirit. I look forward to being able to read more from you. “
Do you know how much that means to a regular guy like me? He is my brother and my friend. I have NO regrets for anything that I have had to give up to establish this bond.
Meeting Adam’s family on the second trip was the realization of a desire that I had from the moment I finished reading FEARLESS for the first time. They were everything that I thought that they would be. Hot Springs is where all the sweet people hang out. Meeting Kelley Brown was an experience I will never forget. She is beautiful yet unpretentious. Like I said last time, I wish that I had done a better job of expressing in word my appreciation for her although I think that she knew by the miles that I had traveled. You couldn’t pay me to travel that far to meet some of Hollywood’s elite, but I was so happy to have the opportunity to meet her. She is incredible! The entire event was something to see but the day would not have been complete without another trip to pay my respects to Adam at Fearless Rock.
Since I am in humility mode at this time I have a little self-deprecating humor to share with you. Both trips to Hot Springs were action packed for sure. I didn’t get a lot of sleep on the second trip. Most of my energy came from bottles of 5-Hour. Get it? Max caffeine.
So we were off to dive. My mission was to get a head start and head back to my room, get my gear in my car and wait at the ready. I did that but made one mistake. As Will showed up with a row of cars containing other people, I made the mistake of heading back to my room to double check things. To make sure that I had left nothing on the floor. When I got back to the car everybody was gone. Oh no! What do I do now? Will called. This line of cars had to pull over on the side of the highway to wait for Greg from Oregon to catch up. I headed out the drive way and traveled towards town. Wrong! The highway is in the other direction. So I turned around and eventually caught up. How embarrassing!
As we got to the dive site, I really wasn’t prepared the way that I should have been. I was kind of a nervous mess that day and I think that Will wasn’t feeling all that well either. I got chewed out a little bit by one of my heroes due to my actions, lol. It was an honor and a privilege. I needed a lot of help getting in the water that day. Footage for a short YouTube video was being taken and, thankfully, I was made to look better than I was on that occasion.
I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I had borrowed something from Will for the dive. After I was finished getting dressed I went to put it in the back seat of his truck. As I opened the door I was alarmed by the fact that the Extortion 17 granite marker, that is now underwater, was perched on the edge of the seat pointing down towards the asphalt road. Yikes. Can you imagine how my personal history would have changed that day if that marker would have tumbled out of the truck and on to the ground? I wonder what award I would have received (Posthumously) for losing my life at Fearless Rock that day, lol? I sheepishly placed it in the middle of the seat and closed the door. True story! Needless to say I made it through the day. That trip was awesome!
On the first trip, Will had taken a picture of me while I was standing under a famous street sign that is near Lake Hamilton high school. It is the sign for Adam Brown Road. I have seen pictures of both Kelley and Adam’s parents standing under this sign. And now, it was my turn. I made it my Profile picture on Facebook for this Memorial Day weekend. As I write this blog entry, it has received 87 likes. I had tagged Janice Brown and Will so it would appear on their pages. Hopefully I’ll get a hundred likes before the weekend is over. I don’t think that people like my picture because of Greg from Oregon. I think they are clicking on Like because of Adam and I’m fine with that!
When it comes to Adam, there are throngs of people that appreciate his life and service. I showed you my tattoos that were both inspired by my FEARLESS adventure. I know that I am not alone in this. Many others have shown the same commitment to honoring Adam’s life. I am just one person of many but you know what? When it comes to honoring Adam and the Warrior Princess and their families, I have given it my best, my all. I have held nothing back. I know that I am a bit obnoxious. But I like it that way.
This blogging stuff is hard work. I have the utmost respect for people that write for a living. It is time consuming and mentally taxing. I prepare notes during the week and write on Saturday. When it has come to telling you about My FEARLESS Adventure, I hardly have had to refer to my notes. The memories just flow onto the page.
We have been at war now for well over a decade and there are so many that have given their lives, or at least have faced the horrors of war with strength and courage in the name of freedom. Let’s honor them all. There are some that stand out to me because I have read their stories. Chris Kyle, the American Sniper. He survived numerous deployments only to have his life taken by someone he was trying to help. Ryan Job who in spite of his blindness, never lost his vision or the heart of a SEAL. Jason Redman, a commissioned SEAL officer, who faced himself while he picked up cigarette butts while in “Ranger Jail”. He would recover and go on to join an exclusive club along with Ryan. These are only a small few that I am thinking about this weekend.
Adam Brown, there will never be another one like you. The things you overcame to achieve the very best. The way you lived your life as an example for others to follow. What can’t we overcome in achieving our goals. I thank you for your service and ultimate Sacrifice (John 15:13). You will never be forgotten. Never!
Thanks for taking the time and for showing your kindness and appreciation towards my story.
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Highlighting a previous blog that might interest you:
Journey Unexpected - The Rich Family
One child in a family with a rare disease is a challenge. What if there is two? Heartbreak multiplied you pick up the pieces and will yourself to do your very best. A love that is profound and a bond that is stronger than any other is formed. Two little beauties in one family is two, too many but you seek to make a difference! A journey unexpected...