Hug a Veteran Day
Land of the free...because of the BRAVE



The story of Robert P. Warns II is not so different than many of the other young men and women who have lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Except one thing - the number of people who have been introduced to Bobby since his passing. I have attached a link to Bobby's website. While the video tribute is heart wrenchingly tender, it is the news coverage that touched me. Bobby was blessed with a wonderfully loving family. A family that wished to capture his funeral service on video and the rest is history.

If you are courageous enough to watch the video tribute, you will understand why this Marine has inspired the altruistic love within me for all people in the United States Armed Forces.

On November 10, 2007 I was moved to venture out on my own and visit all VFW's and American Legions in my local area. My goal was seek out as many U.S. Veterans as I could find, wrap my arms around them and thank them for their service. Seeking Veterans at VFWs and American Legions was as easy as fishing from a bucket.

My eyes smiled as I approached them to ask if they were a veteran. They all responded with pride, some even standing to attention and announcing their branch of service. As I wrapped my arms around them I offered a simple "Thank you for your service".

I met an elderly gentleman who flew radar in a B2 bomber, WWII. He took my hand and walked me across the room to show me a picture of a B2, and pointed out where he was in the plane. He described how his cubby hole rattled whenever the guns were going off. I also met a much younger man who was headed out for his fourth tour in Iraq, that young man got a hug AND a kiss on the cheek.

As I worked the room I could see the sparkle in their eyes, and a tear in a few. I was at least as moved as they were, if not more so. They had no idea that their usual Saturday night would bring them a hug from a stranger. As one person, I was capable of creating magic moments for thirty or more U.S. Veterans, just little ol me. It is my goal, it is my hope, to gather all who are willing to offer TWO ARMS for TWO HOURS for ONE NIGHT and create those moments for hundreds of veterans.

As I left one establishment on the evening of November 10, 2007 - the bartender called out "Who are you with? What organization?" It was just me but what a wonderful idea.

I truly BELIEVE it can happen.
I need your help.
I need your arms.

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