[reposting - original post on March 30, 2011]
There are times when we here at B5 do so many things behind the scenes that we don't let you know what some of our big projects are. And there are times when we need your help to make something happen. This is one of those cases.
Due to security concerns, I cannot tell you who this is about. Many of you will guess. I've turned off the comments because I don't want any information out there (true or false) to compromise this mission. I cannot tell you when this will happen. We are planning on completing the mission in the late summer or early fall, but I am not going to pin down the dates, months or seasons.
And for those of you that know me, I don't ask for your hard earned dollars frivolously. Some of you will think that I'm crazy for supporting this mission. I believe in it. I believe that it will help someone who's helped many many people. Call it Karma, divine intervention, or just dumb luck, but this will one of the best things you can help us with this year.
Enough prologue, onto the story.
Last Christmas, I received this email from a Gold Star Dad. He lost his son a few years ago in one of the war zones. He reached out to us for help getting to stand on the very ground where his son was killed in action. As a Dad, I can understand it. As a vet, I want to help this great American father find some peace - what little of it he will find, he deserves...
...I can not die in peace one day if I do not go. I will be 58 in January and... I think I can't wait any longer. But more importantly I have a gut feeling it is time.
The only gift in life I dream of for myself, strictly only for me, is to kneel and touch the ground where [he] died. To smell the air. To see what he saw his final days, final moments. I can see it at a distance of several hundred feet through out of date Google Earth Photos but that simply is not good enough for me. Even if it were to cost me my very life, I have to go there. I need your help to figure out how to make this happen. I would appreciate anything you could do to help me formulate an entry plan in country to make this happen.
My best to you in this Holiday Season as [we] celebrate Christmas, continuing to Remember [him] With Honor. Happy New Year. Thank you for your friendship, for saving my life by giving me an outlet to share my feelings and come to grips with my grief.
This mission will take a lot of financial and physical resources. You can email suggestions to blackfive - AT - Gmail - DOT - com. But be advised that we have worked this through the various government agencies at some very high levels. Soldiers' Angels has agreed to support this mission.
It will take 108 hours. One hundred and eight hours to help a grieving parent. Certainly, we have that capacity to help, don't we?
Our goal: To raise enough money for transport and security to take the Gold Star Dad to the place of his son's death. We need your help.
You can help by donating to Soldiers' Angels PayPal or Authorize.Net and type in the memo code GOLDSTAR. Or you can send a check with GOLDSTAR in the memo field to:
1792 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104
Corporate donors and foundations can contact me directly via email. Sponsors are also welcome.
If you just don't have the resources to help right now, there are many many ways you can help support our military and their families.
You can text the word SOLDIERS to 20222 for a $5 donation to Soldiers' Angels general fund.
And there are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that are requesting to be adopted.
Or, last but not least, you can volunteer to write one letter per week to a different military member overseas. There are lots of ways you can help our military and their families.
Update: Our initial costs are between $25-30,000 to defray travel, security and various expenses. Anything raised over the costs of the trip will go to another Soldiers' Angels project. We have raised about $5,000 to date.
Update 09-02-11: We are just $2,000 short for the [airfare for the] trip. Please give what you can. THANKS!
Additional comment: We still need to defray security costs.