Of the thousands of veterans I’ve met over the years, I cannot recall any who have sought recognition for their service. More often than not, they instead tell me they were ‘just doing their job’. Yet their profession is difficult, dangerous work that takes its toll not only on our service members themselves but their loved ones at home as well.
In working with Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band, I’ve seen every possible show scenario – everything from professional venues to a fully set stage being dragged across a rodeo arena, minutes before the band started, to playing in the Afghan desert on a truck bed in a haze of swirling dust.
I served 10 years as an active duty U.S. Navy SEAL, deploying three times to Iraq and once to Afghanistan as a lead sniper, breacher, JTAC, and navigator. Today I work as the Director of Programs and Outreach for the Gary Sinise Foundation. I am 41 years old and this is the first Labor Day I have ever celebrated in my life as part of the civilian work force.
Each new guest room at the Thayer Hotel is dedicated to a distinguished West Point graduate with the room’s décor reflecting their accomplishments. Today, it is my pleasure to announce that my brother-in-law, Boyd McCanna “Mac” Harris, will be among these prestigious honorees.
As we prepare to honor those who have fallen, let us also remember those we still have the privilege to thank personally. They are everyday heroes not only because they protected our everyday freedom, but because they deserve our salute each and every day.
Be sure to set your DVRs to The Sportsman Channel on Monday, May 19th at 7pm EST for the television premiere of “High Flight: A Voyage to the Edge of Infinity”. The film documents my once-in-a-lifetime U2 flight at Beale Air Force Base in June 2011, covering every moment from the day-long training and meetings with the base staff to take-off and landing.
In March, the Gary Sinise Foundation and the USC School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation & Research hosted the inaugural “Closing the Gap Summit” to address the current shortfalls in care and support for our severely wounded veterans and their families.