My heart was heavy when I heard the news that the USS Fitzgerald had been involved in an accident at sea that resulted in the loss of 7 sailors on the ship, and many others sailors lost everything in the flooded berthing compartments after colliding with a Japanese merchant ship in the middle of the night.  As a former sailor myself, I consider everyone who has worn, currently wears, and who will wear the uniform in the future a brother and sister of mine. The news hit me very hard, as my life and career now revolves around helping our deployed service members.

My initial thoughts were to pray for the victims and their families. Secondly, I instantly begin thinking of how Boots For Troops could help.  My mind was running with ideas, because I’m naturally a big thinker. How can we help in the biggest way, and make the most impact.  After spending some time in thought and doing my research on the situation, I learned that the crew needed new uniform boots. Many of the sailors on board the ship lost everything in the flooded compartments. I begin talking to my sources in the Navy to find out what sizes and boots the crew on the USS Fitzgerald needed. After getting more information on the situation I pledged at least 25 pairs of new boots form the organization, and I also pledged $3,000 dollars of our funding to cover the cost of what would be $6,250.00 for the 25 pairs of new steel toe combat boots. Then I immediately launched “Operation Help Fitzgerald” on my social media pages. In less than 24 hours numerous patrons had stepped up to help cover the rest of the cost to complete this mission ($3,000). The Boots were immediately put on order and will be in the hands of the sailors who need them very soon.

I’m always blown away by the pure generosity of the American people. I can’t say it enough. All the work Boots For Troops is able to accomplish is because of the support base we have. So many Americans that just have such a heart of gold.  They love our troops and they really appreciate their service. They also understand with any service in our Armed Forces comes with risk. And I can sincerely say that the Boots For Troops support base, I like to refer to them as the Boots For Troops family, sincerely cares. At the end of the day it’s about standing behind those that stand in front for us, and when we can step up and make a difference, and have their back, then there is really no better feeling in the world for me.