It is a cool April day in the mountains above Julian, and Medal of Honor recipient John Baca climbs in his tiny, beat-up red truck, reaches over and opens the passenger door for me because, well, the handle is long gone.
We pull away from his small rustic cabin and rattle and bounce down a dirt road as Baca distributes mail to shut-ins, gives out apple pies and makes sure that folks without know that someone cares.
It’s a typical day for an extraordinary Vietnam veteran, a man who threw himself on a grenade in 1970 so that his Army buddies could live. Miraculously, Baca survived, and while still suffering from injuries, he pays it forward by giving away just about everything.
Heck, Baca even gave away his house in Huntington Beach. It was near the park named after him.
But in a unique moment last weekend before hundreds of fellow veterans, the Medal of Honor recipient finally allowed that sometimes accepting a gift means more than giving a gift.
Baca’s eyes grew wide when he saw his present. Civilians, as well as men who once faced battle as their brothers bled, brushed away tears.
And this man awarded the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat found some healing.
AN ANGEL FOR TROOPS
Buying a car is easy. Getting a vehicle for a man who gives away everything is tough.
Enter Annie Nelson. She graduated from Mission Viejo High School and Cal State Long Beach, then modeled and became a flight attendant.
Life was good – until she suffered a work-related back injury. Sidelined, she found her calling after 9/11: helping men and women in uniform.
She formed American Soldier Network, began writing letters to troops in Iraq and wound up pen pals with three Marines. Just before Christmas 2004, a suicide bomber hit a convoy. One pen pal was killed and another was badly injured.
She found herself mourning. But how do you mourn people when you’ve never met them?
A month later, the phone rang. It was Cpl. Jesse Schertz’s mother. Now being treated in Texas, the young Marine wanted to see his pen pal. Her support made a difference.
Come whether you ride or not to enjoy food, music, prizes and fun! Meet and thank our Nations hero Medal Of Honor John Bacca along with other heroes!
Johns Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrMWbY4cdEc
Saturday October 29, 2016
Elks Lodge Oceanside Ca
444 Country Club Lane, Oceanside CA 92054
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
$20.00 Per Person or $30.00 Per Couple
Music by INHALE
Dashing through the halls…the American Soldier Network will be once again delivering Christmas SWAG Bags (Showing Warriors Americas Gratitude) to our combat, ill and injured heroes this Christmas! We can not do it alone! WE NEED YOU, with your donations of IN Kind items, corporate sponsorship donations and funds to fill our bags. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can be a part of this years SWAG Bags or you can donate now via this site on our donate button.
Thank you for helping us honor and thank our Warriors!
February 6 & 7: Our annual hosting our Heroes to the Grammy’s Rehearsals always a memorable time for our combat wounded and Active Duty Heroes.
February 11: Hearts 4 Heroes this year were delivered to our US Navy SEAL Teams
February 12: we hosted Valentine Date Night for our Combat Wounded Ill & Injured and their spouses providing comedy night, dinner and desert!
MARCH 11-14: we supported & cheered at the Warrior Trials at Camp Pendleton
MAY: We had a fund raiser at the Irvine Improv with the Veterans of Comedy and TV’s David Koechner
JULY: A Gold Star Family Reunion Day – with a picnic, pony rides, visit to the zoo, games and train ride! “Freedom Fest Concert & Motorcycle Run” in Castle Rock CO over 350 Bikers rode with Paul Teutle Sr of Orange County Choppers, SOA cast members Rusty Coones, Emilio Rivera, MO McCrea through the amazing Colorado roads to the beautiful town of Castlerock to a great day of music, fun and food. Performing were, Great White, Patten and Goff, Ryan White, Mini KIIS, Kip Winger and headliner Lou Gramm the voice of Foreigner!!!
OCTOBER: canned food drive with Montevideo Elementary School PTA, American Soldier Network delivering over 1300 canned foods to our Homeless Veterans
NOVEMBER: 3rd Annual Show your Soul Donate your Soles used shoe drive and Veterans Day party at the USS IOWA Battleship! A Red Carpet Day with celebrities, war fighters of all eras, civilians and thousands and thousands of SHOES!
DECEMBER: American Soldier Network’s 9th Annual Christmas SWAG Bags for our Combat Wounded Ill & Injured – we again delivered over 500 SWAG bags to our combat wounded ill and injured service members for the holidays. Always a highlight of our year! Unfortunately we in our circle lost 18 to suicide this year! That has turned our focus moving forward into 2016 on the development of our #HealingHappens campaign to raise awareness & help for the Veteran/Military Suicide epidemic in our country. Since 1999 we have lost over 200,000 veterans & active duty military to suicide, this must stop! WE NEED YOU to Help us spread the word. Check out www.crowdrise.com/healinghappens
The auction starts TODAY thru Nov 12 👍🏻👊🏻🎶🇺🇸 Guitars signed by
-Colorado Avalanche Scott “the Sherrif” Parker
– Kip Winger (solo)
– Ryan Weaver and his band
– Patten & Goff
– Mini KISS (entire band)
– Jack Russell (Great White)
– Led Zeppelin Experience (entire band)
– Lou Gramm (Voice of Foreigner)
– Paul Teutel Sn. (Orange County Choppers)
– Rusty Coones (Sons of Anarchy)
– Mo Mc Crae (SOA)
– Emilio Rivera (SOA)
On behalf of The American Soldier Network & The Battleship Iowa we would like to cordially invite you to a Veterans Day to Remember “Celebrating The American Spirit” on the LA waterfront. This event will be a day to celebrate our Veterans, Military, a historic Battleship and raise awareness & funds to end Veteran/Military suicide. Every 40 minutes a veteran takes his own life to suicide; we are losing 1 to 3 Active Duty military members to suicide daily. It is long overdue that we all come together to Save our Heroes here on the home front.
This is also the conclusion of the“Show Your Soul by Donating Your Soles” used shoe drive to support American Soldier Network in their crusade to end veteran/military suicide. The used shoes will go to shoe our impoverished in third world countries, keeping them our of our land fills and the monies raised will go to the#HealingHappens Save our Heroes here on our Home Front campaign.
The Battleship USS Iowa is a popular Los Angeles museum that provides families a glimpse into the past through a unique (and fun) experience aboard the only battleship museum on the West Coast. We have created a comfortable and relaxed browsing experience and invite your client to bring along a guest, there will be military present, vendor booths, refreshments and a family atmosphere. Along with media coverage.
Location: The Museum is located at Berth 87 at the Los Angeles World Cruise Port Terminal at the LA Waterfront / Port of Los Angeles. The Battleship IOWA Museum shares the parking lot with the World Cruise Terminal.
Parking is accessible from 1st Street & Harbor Boulevard.
The first hour is free, each additional hour is $2 with a maximum of $16 per day.