Toledo refuses to let military heroes go unnoticedWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
by Sid Kelly
The beginning of this week marked a very special day for me, and for the rest of our morning radio show. Nov. 11 was Veterans Day.
Pardon the history lesson, but Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. It was approved in May of 1938 and made Nov. 11 of every year a legal holiday, designed to honor veterans of World War I. However, in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made Nov. 11 a day to honor all veterans of the armed services. For seven years, beginning in 1971, Veterans Day was observed on the fourth Monday of each October under the Uniform Holiday Act before being moved back to Nov. 11 in 1978.
The day is very special to our show because both Demetrius and I were in the U.S. Navy. Sara’s grandfathers were both in World War II and her stepdad is a proud Vietnam vet, as are many of our relatives and best friends.
While out golfing with one of his friends — former Marine John Campbell — my co-host Demetrius Nicodemus came up with an idea to help the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
The WWP is a fantastic organization that provides medical and psychological assistance as well as financial help to our brave servicemen and servicewomen who have been wounded while protecting our freedom while serving in the military. The program gets the vast majority of its unding through donations, and absolutely ZERO dollars through government grants. In order to continue these efforts, the vast majority of the WWP’s money must come from donations. More info is available at www.woundedwarriorproject.org/mission.aspx.
So, Campbell and Demetrius came up with an idea to put on a comedy show and donate the proceeds to the WWP. Campbell (an employee at Taylor Automotive) asked his supervisor if the business would be willing to act as a drop-off point for donations.
Taylor Automotive went one better and not only agreed to allow the drop-offs, but to also let their employees volunteer to donate a day’s pay to go directly to the WWP.
The comedy show featured three comedians: Angel Isaac and Quinn Patterson (both from Cleveland), and “The Morning Rush’s” very own Demetrius Nicodemus.
On top of the live entertainment, several businesses donated gift baskets that we used to raise more money during a silent auction.
After two weeks of promotion, Waldo Peppers in Findlay was packed to capacity this past Friday night. It was truly inspiring to see how many people showed up to support our veterans.
I had the privilege of meeting Campbell and asked him why he wanted to help the Wounded Warrior Project.
“Because if we just make the smallest difference to those who gave so much, how can and why would we ever say ‘no,’ or ‘I can’t,’ or ‘I just don’t have the money?” he said. “Everyone can contribute something, even if it’s just their time.”
If you walked into the room 30 minutes before showtime, it would have been pretty obvious that people were more than willing to contribute not only their money, but their time too.
As Sara, Demetrius and I walked through the crowd we met tons of vets and listeners thanking us for doing something for those who have been severely wounded. When I caught up with Campbell at the show, I asked him what message he’d like to pass along to other people about veterans. He said, “We fought for you then, and sometimes we need people to fight for us. The only thing we have ever asked for is, ‘Hey, thanks for your service.’ Nothing more.”
“We know what we signed up for, it was our honor to serve and protect our nation.”
And that’s what Veterans Day is all about.
There are millions of men and women that fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our right to complain about our president, wear whatever we want, pray to whomever we want and go wherever we want without the fear of reprisals from our government.
So many of our service members have never come home, and it’s those that we need to never lose sight of. As Campbell said to me, “Those are the true heroes.” He’s right. They gave their lives so we can do what we do every day.
I want to personally take the time to thank every man and woman that has stepped forward and run toward the danger when everyone else would love nothing more than to run away from it.
You are my heroes! I thank God every day that you have the courage to do what 99 percent of the public couldn’t.
I am proud to admit that “The Morning Rush” was able to raise $3,255 that will go directly to Wounded Warrior Project. I know I speak for the show when I say thank you for donating money, buying tickets to the show, and purchasing the items included in our silent auction. I’m honored to live in a city that refuses to let our heroes go unnoticed.
As you go about your day today just remember that you have the ability to do what you’re doing because other men and women have sacrificed their futures, their ability to have their little children run up to them at the end of a hard day and scream “Daddy — or Mommy, I missed you,” as they walk through the door. They gave that amazing feeling up so you can experience it.
Don’t take it for granted, especially now that you know what’s had to happen in order for you to experience it. If that’s not the greatest gift in the world, I’m not sure what is.
If you missed the event because you had other plans, please visit woundedwarriorproject.org and make a donation.
Sid Kelly, U.S. Navy ensign and aviator of anA6E Intruder, is host of “The Morning Rush,” weekday mornings on 92.5 KISS FM.
Tags: 'The Morning Rush', Angel Isaac and Quinn Patterson, Armistice Day, Cleveland, Demetrius Nicodemus, Marine John Campbell, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Taylor Automotive, Uniform Holiday Act, Veterans Day, Vietnam, World War II, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)