Saturday, February 26, 2011

Candyss Bryant - Best Ranger Competition and Mike Schlitz Alive Day, plus Clueless, Disrespectful Protestors

Last week I interviewed the amazing Candyss Bryant, the "younger sister" of all Rangers.  Tune in and listen to her describe her relationship with the National Ranger Association, the Best Ranger Competition and the Ranger community at-large, and you will catch a sense of the "wonder" she still has about falling into the Ranger family.

She is also involved in the International Sniper Competition and the Leapfest Competition.  Her "day" job is Coordinator at the Center for Community Based and Non-profit Organizations.  Make sure you listen all the way through - the discussion at the end is just as interesting and important as the discussion at the beginning.  If you want to know more about the Best Ranger Competition or any of the other events with which Candyss is involved, email or call her at 706-718-9520.

My buddy Mike Schlitz wrote this note today:

"Well it’s now been years since that day in Iraq changed so many lives. I have said in the past that it hasn’t changed me that, but in truth it has. It has been told to me several times that I smile more and seem to enjoy life more. I really do appreciate life on a lot larger scale. I see that moments flash by so quickly that often times we miss then. I hope that I don’t miss as many in the future.

I get asked a lot what is my inspiration and motivation, but to tell you the truth I'm still figuring it out. I lost 3 guys that day and part of me has survivors dealt. I want to live a life they could be proud of. Sometimes I fall back on my military training and the Ranger Creed with the “Don't Quit and Never Give Up Attitude” Finally I just want to set a good example for everybody. I don't want a young solider to get hurt and think life is over. I don't want a civilian to look at me thinking because of the war my life is over. You know I live a pretty good life still. I have met and done things most people only dream of. I consider myself really lucky. All I can say is everyone just needs to find their own motivator. Mine is life.

People have said bad things about being War and pretty they right. But some good things come of War too. Some of my fondest memories come from those shared with my Brothers and Sisters in Arms. I say War can build Character and without my experiences mine would be totally different.

Lastly I owe many thanks to my Mother who gave up Everything to be by my side to help and care for me, the Rest of my Family and Friends who have supported me from the beginning, the Medical Staff who kept me alive and got me back on my feet, to Everyone in my unit and especially the guys on the ground that day who really stepped up, and finally 3 of my and the World’s lost Heroes

SGT Richard A. Soukenka      30 Years Old
SGT Jonathan D. Cadavero    24Years Old
CPL Lorne E. Henry Jr.          21 Years Old"

Mike, you are affecting lives in a positive way every day.  You are the most inspirational person I know.  I remember a few days ago when we were talking on the phone and I was stressing about insurance coverage for my company.  You said "aw don't worry, it'll work out".  You're absolutely right - it's a mouse turd I'm worried about when you are handling mountains daily in an even stride.  I thank God for you, and for being able to call you my friend.

Couple other items of interest:  I stumbled upon this last week:  Tom Brokaw did a piece on the Oprah show about The Bravest Families in America.  Awesome.  Law Professor and blogger Ann Althouse published this piece about Wisconsin protesters ignorantly disrespecting a war memorial in the state capital.  Here's one of the videos:

I am very pleased to announce a new relationship with Warrior Gateway.  Warrior Gateway exists to organize and categorize Veteran services.  My appreciation to the Warrior Gateway team for what they do and for helping us provide better information to our Veterans and their families.  Also I must mention my most heartfelt thanks for the leadership and talents of Dr. Tracy Norris and the Norris E-Commerce team for donating their time, expertise and web storage for our website.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, come see us the week after next at the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach!  We could use a couple Ranger veterans to help us work the booth - if you are in the AO and want to help, call me at 316-249-0218.

GallantFew continues to grow and serve more Ranger veterans.  Support our mission!  And in the words of Candyss:  Love hard, work hard, play hard - do everything to the extreme!

RLTW and V/R


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