Monday, June 6, 2011
It's D-Day. 67 years since the Allied army hit the beaches in Normandy. And a fitting day for me to be hitting the beach in Cueta, Morocco. Figuratively, of course.
7 days and 35 sponsors ago I set out from Spain to swim the 12+ miles across the Strait of Gibraltar and set foot in Africa. And today, 1/2 vial of Diclofenac later, I can proudly step out of the water and say Mission Accomplished.
I want to thank everybody who has participated in this little effort and commend you on your support. Together you have pledged more than $965 dollars. Rather than collecting all the money and sending off one check, I'm now asking that you visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ and fulfill your obligation on their website.
The wounded warrior project is the same foundation used by the vets who swam the Gibraltar channel in the film SWIM.
You might have noticed that I have not gotten on a soapbox and talked about the worthiness of this cause. Frankly, it's not a topic I feel qualified to talk about. The pain and suffering our disabled vets go through on a daily is far too deep for any of us to comprehend. I would never be able to find the words to do it justice.
After all, the closest I ever got to being in the military was the Boy Scouts. And I wasn't very good at that. I am simply humbled by the sacrifices these young men and women make. The $1200 raised here is just a small, small way of saying thank you.
Of course, now that the mission is now complete I can come clean and admit there were other agendas at play.
I often say swimming is a perfect fat guy sport. And I wanted to see just how hard I could push this fat guy body of mine. Did you know that less 2% of all Americans can swim 18 consecutive lengths of a pool or 1/4 mile? And far fewer would still be left breathing after 100 consecutive lengths.
But over and above that I wanted to demonstrate to my daughters, the joy of giving and the power of doing. I'm always surprised which life lessons actually stick with them. I'm hoping this will be one. With any luck, they'll both enroll in the Marines, live at nearby Camp Pendleten and let Uncle Sam treat them to a free ride for college.
Then Deb and I can spend the 529 funds and rent an oceanfront villa in Morocco.