There have been some people that have asked me why I am doing this campaign. A simple answer is: I have always been patriotic. My father is a Vietnam veteran that served in the Marine Corps. He taught my brothers and I respect for our country, for our flag and for our service members.
The more complicated answer is that, the more I met veterans, the more effort I put into learning about the people that serve and the challenges they face and overcome. What I truly learned was that unless I served, I will never understand.
They sign on a dotted line, pledging their life for our country, and pledging to protect and defend complete strangers.
They forge a bond with their brothers and sisters in arms that have become closer than blood, all while trying to maintain a relationship and family back home thousands of miles away.
They experience difficulties of buying a first home because they might not have the credit or 'stable job' to be approved for a loan.
They serve honorably with years of experience, just to be told they're overqualified and disqualified for a job because they didn't take the 'traditional' route of going to college and having a degree.
They have to sometimes feel that the country they love doesn’t want to hear about the wars. They feel strangers stare at their scars, yet they do not know a larger truth: not all scars are visible.
Veterans will tell you why THEY do it: “It’s my job”... “It’s my calling”... “I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps”.
I guess I could say that supporting veterans is MY calling, my job, my way of honoring the footsteps my father and all service members before and after him took.
Operation Pedal 4 Vets is my way of doing this. I'm honored to be raising funds for the Boot Campaign, which provides assistance to those individuals that bravely volunteer so the rest of us never have to. We may never be able to fully understand what it's like to serve, but I hope in our efforts together, veterans will always understand that they are supported!
"When they come back, we give back."
Operation Pedal 4 Vets Fundraising Page: https://www.crowdrise.com/oppedal4vets/fundraiser/laceyh