The Redneck County Club. Should these words even be together? I mean, what kind of place is the “Redneck Country Club?” Turns out, a very nice place. The reclaimed wood alone is something to admire. I was there to see The Patriot Tour which is a group of speakers who served our nation in some capacity and share their journey and lessons learned. It was also on the very evening of the Paris attacks. I was feeling uneasy about another 9/11, but I have to say, after listening to the speakers it was like receiving a B-12 shot of patriotism. I felt better knowing that if these were the kind of men and women who have our backs, we stood a better chance than any other nation.
I’d forgotten what it was like to love my America, aside from 4th of July, and let’s face it, that day is about family, bbq, beer, and fireworks. I know I’m fortunate to live in this country, but with so much chatter in my head over the dishonest politicians, the racial divisions, and the increase in crime and poverty, apathy became my defense mechanism to quiet the noise. Luckily, by the evening’s end, I was jolted back into an appreciative state of being American. Here’s my humble take-away from each speaker:
Taya Kyle – Widow of the “most lethal sniper,” Chris Kyle. She was the reason I bought the ticket. I wanted to know how a woman gets out of bed in the morning and continues on after such devastation? She explained that if Chris had been killed five or six years earlier, she wouldn’t have survived without him. But Chris’ “warrior spirit” had grown in her, becoming her, and explained how we can tap into that warrior spirit, too. It’s not just for soldiers.
Chad Fleming – Army Ranger who lost his leg in combat when he was 18 hours away from going home. He’s a funny guy and a “super man.” Chad said even if you offered him $1million, he wouldn’t want his leg back. He feels he wouldn’t’ have been able to help so many soldiers and civilians struggling in the world without this tragedy.
David Goggins – Navy Seal faced with adversity from the day he was born. But let me tell you, this guy has a future in motivational speaking or stand-up comedy. His choice. David completed a 100 mile race with two broken feet and is the subject in multi-millionaire, Jesse Itzler’s, new book, Living With a Seal. This guy voluntarily went through three different hell weeks.
Peter Scoggins – Navy Seal who speaks on PTSD through his music. It was a nice break from the heaviness involved in the aftermath of war. If he’s good enough for Wynona Judd (they sing together), he’s good enough for me.
Marcus Luttrell – Navy Seal and author of “Lone Survivor” shared childhood stories with his twin brother as they learned what it means to be a man. Flash forward to that tragic day on the mountain, he said he never felt so helpless and accepted the fact that he was going to die. He also spoke about differences between his real life story and the Hollywood version. For instance, the movie only lasted two hours while the actual battle lasted for three hours. And although Mark Walberg never passed out during the movie, Marcus Luttrell was knocked unconscious six different times.
After listening about courage and bravery and struggles in everyday life, I felt like I should never complain about anything again. Obviously I will. But here’s the number one message I learned from all of the speakers. A warrior never gives up. And that’s all we have to do to be a warrior. As for Paris, we will beat the terrorists by challenging their hate with the world’s love.