Boot Campaign: Texas group does our troops — and the nation — proud

Pushups for Charity
Years ago I read Marcus Luttrell’s book ‘Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10,’ and was blown away. It captured the complexities of war in ways I had rarely seen on the nightly news. Luttrell’s tale brought tears to my eyes and left a lasting impression in my mind. Apparently, it did the same for five women from Texas, who went out and started Boot Campaign, a non-profit dedicated to helping war fighters and their families when they return home.

This past weekend in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., I had the pleasure of taking part in the final event of the year for Pushups for Charity, which worked in conjunction with Boot Campaign to help raise funds for our returning war fighters and their families. Men, women and children of all ages and fitness levels came out to do as many pushups as possible within 90 seconds, with the goal of hitting 10,000 before the end of the day. There was a lot of people who needed a shower when all was said and done, but the goal was ultimately accomplished.

The thing that most struck me about Pushups for Charity was the sense of community the event instilled in participants from the get-go. All of the Team Leaders were upbeat men and women who made complete strangers feel as if they were longtime friends. It was hot and humid with no wind and no shade — but no one cared because everyone was having fun. Organizers, participants and the audience that cheered and clapped with each round all seemed to concentrate on a shared bond — love of the military. There was no amount of sunburn or sore muscles that could take away from the joy of moment.

After I got home on Sunday night, I was looking at a picture of myself with Team Leaders Mark Little and Chris Nesbitt and wondering why I seem most at ease (no pun intended) around soldiers. I laugh more. I smile more. I’m more “me” in those moments than in any other social situation.

I think a clue to the peace that company brings me can be found in the bio for CPT Mark Little (U.S. Army Ret.), which reads:

Mark enlisted in the Army in 2002. Mark spent 4 years as a Combat Engineer learning and performing the craft of a demolitions expert.

Mark was deployed to Iraq as a Platoon Leader for the 3rd Infantry Division. He spent 99 days in Iraq, conducted over 150 Combat Patrols, and received 3 direct IED blasts, resulting in 2 Purple Hearts and the loss of both of his legs.

Mark is the Captain of the USA Warriors Hockey Team, which provides recreational hockey therapy to wounded Service-members, he actively Crossfits, and is excited to help the Boot Campaign with their critical mission of supporting our Nation’s Heros as they return from combat.

Mark is a Hero Team Leader because every fiber of his being is dedicated to serving his fellow Military Service-Members and refuses to let injuries get in the way of completing any mission he undertakes.

Selfless Service. Check. Courage. Check. Perseverance. Check. The list of qualities that I respect, admire and seek to cultivate in myself are so often found in individuals like CPT Little that it is in their presence where I feel most comfortable.

Pushups Charity FB

There is something extremely awe-inspiring about men and women who can have both of their legs taken from them and, upon healing, get out of bed and essentially say to the world, “You took my legs and knocked me down? Okay. I’ll just build myself some new legs and stand right back up again. And on top of that, I’m going to be just as hard-core awesome as I ever was.”

That is the character of winners. These are the individuals we should look to for inspiration. Their stories are the ones that should not be forgotten.

The next time a political party comes knocking on your door, I suggest laughing them off and turning to an organization with a track record of actually keeping its promises. Boot Campaign is one, but there are many, many others. And if you can’t give money, you can always take 90 seconds out of your day during the next Pushups for Charity event to knock a few out. It won’t cost you a dime, and you’ll meet some incredible people in the process.

Best,

Doug

'The Rock' is batting 1000 for awesomeness. He's relaunching movies, he's got a great new show with 'The Hero,' and now it turns out he's connected with the Boot Campaign.
‘The Rock’ is batting 1000 for awesomeness. He’s relaunching movies, he’s got a great new show with ‘The Hero,’ and now it turns out he’s connected with the Boot Campaign.

At long last, Michael Moore openly admits he hates the troops

Michael Moore wants you to know he's going to stop saying he "supports the troops" — because he doesn't. It's not really news; most of us knew he never did. (Image: AP)
Michael Moore wants you to know he’s going to stop saying he “supports the troops” — because he doesn’t. It’s not really news; most of us knew he never did. (Image: AP)

In the last remaining hours of 2012, the New York Times enlisted a liberal scholar to finally admit the truth — guys like him want to do away with the Constitution. In the past I’ve tried to say that liberal activists loath the constraints the Constitution places upon their utopian goals, and their defenders have insisted that no, that isn’t the case, and that it’s all just a figment of my radical conservative imagination. Louis Seidman’s willingness to publicly admit his disdain for the document makes my job much easier. I can’t thank him enough.

Likewise, for years I’ve talked about liberal activists who hate our military. Regular readers know that my own conversion to the conservative side of the fence started with leftist professors who said: “Only redneck Republican hicks who are happy to get a free pair of boots join the military.” These likely-tenured academics also gave extra credit to go see Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine,” which dovetails nicely into the filmmaker’s New Year’s confession: He doesn’t support the troops.

Numbers four and five on his “to do” list for 2013 are as follows:

4. Stop saying, “I support the troops.” I don’t. I used to. I understand why so many enlisted after 9/11. Sadly, many of them were then trapped and sent off to invade Iraq. I felt for all of them. I understood those who joined because of a lousy economy. But at some point all individuals must answer for their actions, and now that we know our military leaders do things that have nothing to do with defending our lives, why would anyone sign up for this rogue organization?

5. Apologize for No. 4. I have enormous respect for anyone who would offer to sacrifice their life to defend my right to live. Is there any greater gift one can give another? It’s not the troops’ fault they’re sent to invade other countries for dubious reasons and outright lies. It’s OUR responsibility to prevent this, to elect representatives who believe in peace, and to only put our troops in harm’s way when it’s absolutely necessary. My uncle was killed in World War II. Today would have been his 90th birthday. My dad still misses him. Our family has served this country in the military since the Revolutionary War. None of them watch Fox News.

See what Moore does there? He realizes that he can’t directly come out and say that he hates the troops, so he has to add some mealy-mouthed addendum about his uncle’s military service during World War II.

What Michael Moore says at first is that the servicemen who enlisted well into the Iraq War and up to today knew what the mission was and enlisted anyway because on many levels they believed in the mission. But Michael Moore doesn’t believe in the mission. This puts Moore in the position where he desperately wants to make such soldiers “answer for their actions,” (i.e., invading countries “for dubious reasons” or supporting “outright lies”), but he can’t because he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who would have spit all over returning Vietnam Vets decades ago while screaming “baby killer!” So what does he do? He surreptitiously telegraphs that he absolutely despises guys like Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle and Mark Owen (I won’t use Owen’s real name here), before redirecting attention to a safe target — the civilian leaders who ultimately determine where the U.S. military’s might will be used around the globe.

Michael Moore infamously called al Qaeda in Iraq and former Baathist regime thugs “freedom fighters.” Since many of his supporters adhere to the “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” mentality, it was hard to nail them down and get them to admit that their idol was rooting for dead American soldiers. But with Moore’s 2013 resolution, the wiggle room for sane adults nears zero.

Thank you for finally admitting to the world in 2013 what some of us veterans always knew, Mr. Moore. It’s refreshing to run across a little honesty from you for a change.

Related: Michael Moore: Let’s stand in front of the Obamacare ‘locomotive’ and see what happens