I had the pleasure to attend the second Wounded Warrior Carry Forward event last night in Los Angeles. We raced down from Sonoma County, getting here with a half hour to spare. I changed into my dressy clothes in the front seat of Don’s Passat, put on some makeup quickly, and voila! I was ready to go.
I am a Wounded Warrior supporter, and have given them generous donations from the sales of my SEAL books. I’ve done so with the SEAL/UDT Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, and even have a plank to prove it as a founding member of the group. Supporting these veteran’s groups is one of the fun things I get to do as a writer. But of course, I’m having the most fun telling the stories.
Boy were there stories last night. Tony Sirico won the first-ever James Gandolfini award for service to the Wounded Warrior community. He ended his speech with a “batta-bing” and a point to the sky as a message to James from the heart. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. James’ son was there as well as many of the cast of Sopranos.
What I didn’t know until last night was that James Gandolfini had worked with veteran’s groups for years, being especially concerned with PTSD disorders of returning vets of the Iraq and Afghan wars. His father was a WWII Purple Heart recipient. James produced “Alive Day Memories” and “Wartorn,” both dedicated to the stories of these returning warriors and the impact that has had on the remainder of their lives. These stories are told in first person details, Gandolfini interviewing them, or sharing their journals and diaries.
My post is late because I’m here in San Diego today and tomorrow, supporting my husband who is at a Real Estate mastermind event. But I’m going over to Coronado later on, going to sit on the beach, drool, and work on my next SEAL book.
I am so grateful that I am able to be a writer, able to share some of these events, and bring awareness to men and women who have given more than what was asked of them. It is what makes this country great. These days when we’re thinking of perhaps other things going on, I am so grateful I get to spend a weekend focusing on what’s right with the world, not what’s wrong.