I’ve always been a big fan of 4th of July celebrations. Growing up on military bases it was always a special day to pay tribute to my father and the troops.
Today, I’m still a sucker for American patriotism. Every time I go to a parade and see those veterans carrying the American flag it always brings me to tears. They are so proud. It makes me so proud.
So no surprise that I was brought to tears when the most amazing thing happened at an event for the Disabled Patriot Fund.
This organization helps local veterans who have fought in a war. It steps in when they need help financially. I contacted them a couple of months ago when I put together a story on disabled Illinois veteran Nick Mapson. He was about to lose his home because he couldn’t afford to pay property taxes. The Disabled Patriot Fund donated the money Mapson needed to pay his first installment.
They asked me to speak at their annual golf outing and tell his story. So I did. And what happened next was amazing to watch. I shared Nick’s story and told the crowd he was still in need of about $5000 to pay the final installment in December. Someone handed me four free tickets to a July 3 Cubs game to use in a live auction to raise the rest of the money. Two people quickly came up to buy the $400 dollars worth of tickets.
But then, a man from the audience stepped up and asked me for the microphone. Little did I know what he was about to do. Much to our surprise he was a professional auctioneer. He managed to get the bidding going and the donations started rolling in, $1000, $2500, $3000 dollars. Finally, one man walked up and said, “he needs $5000, then that’s what I’m going to give you”. He didn’t want the tickets he just wanted to make sure this veteran did not lose his home. So those same tickets we’re auctioned off again and went for $500.
In an impromptu move, with no planning, we were able to raise $5500 dollars for this vet and the Disabled Patriot Fund in a matter of seconds. It was incredible to see. I never found out the name of the man who donated the initial $5000. He didn’t want any attention or recognition. But I convinced him to take this picture with me.
As far as the anonymous auctioneer, thank you for stepping in and making this a reality.
All in all, I say this is the true spirit of American patriotism. To all veterans, Thank You for your service. To all Americans who give back to help those that have paid such a sacrifice, THANK YOU.
Happy 4th of July America!
Do you have a story of patriotism to share? Let me know.