Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 17 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - The Team Welcomes MJ

Day 17 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project
Reveille was at 0400 and the Team along with MJ Motta were inserted back to the previous checkpoint.  The Team was met by a local news photographer as they stepped off to begin another 11 miles.  Panhandle Pioneer Settlement was good to us but we again needed to push forward and establish a new base camp.  The Hitman was on the case again and found a Veteran Owned RV Park called Pine Lake RV Park who let us stay for 2 nights.

After the Marines and MJ marched off 11 before most people wake up, the team was extracted and returned to their new base camp for some much needed R&R. Shane took some time with the team to talk about how is business is different and by providing expert advise when providing mortgage products makes his company elite.
It was late when the Marines arrived and being a small town there were not a lot of choices for dinner, so the team grabbed some fast food and prepped for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 16 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - Messin With Navy

Day 16 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project

Reveille was at 0500 and the team was inserted back to check point circle K2.  The Team Marched out and Mobile Command pushed forward to the next base camp.  Panhandle Pioneer Settlement.  This place was not a camp ground, but they made room and allowed us to stay the night.  We were welcomed with open arms and had 2 local news reporters showed up to get our story.  As Night fell, Navy went to shower up and the boys decided to have alittle fun.  Panhandle Pioneer Settlement has a ton of history, complete with cabins from the 1800's and a graveyard.

So the Boys decided to have aliitle fun. Later that night, The Marines laid in wait until Navy made his way from the bathhouse, in the dark, without a night light some 200 yds from Mobile Command...

Needless to say, a good laugh was had by all.  Big Thanks to Panhandle Pioneer Settlement for giving the Team a place to post up for the night.  If you are ever in the neighborhood, stop in and see what a poineer settlement once looked like.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 15 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - Enjoying The Day With Family, Hitman & Kristi

Day 15 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project
With Missy and the kids spending the night and Ross & Kristi in, the Team took some time to appreciate friends and family and everyone who has supported the Booyah Veteran Bus Project.  Ross & Kristi cooked up a huge breakfast and the Team took time to  Get To Ross & Kristi (Click Here to Watch The FB Live Broadcast)  The folks at the KOA were super kind and allowed us to stay just alittle bit longer while we did laundry and packed up.

We rolled out at 0200 and inserted the Marines and Ross back to the last checkpoint.  Mobile Command and Mobile Command Two,  pushed ahead 6 miles and set up a rally point.  2 hours later, the Team showed up, resupplied, hydrated and hit the road.  We posted up at the Circle K and started chow as we knew it was going to be a long night.  The Team ate well and sent The Hitman and wife on there way and the Marines powered forward.  Mobile Command pushed forward to make the reservation that the Hitman made and set up base camp.  Mobile Command got the call for extraction early in the morning.

After Check-in, Mobile Command went back to Rally point Circle K2 and extracted the Marines. The Team went back to base camp, had a few craft beers and some chow and called it a night.  Shawn and Navy had a few additional brews as The Veteran manning the bar mentioned that they sold a 6 pack of the craft beer.

The park was situtated on the Lake and provided a peaceful view of the water.

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Day 14 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - Hitman & Family Day

Day 14 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project
The Day started off with Navy meeting The Viking and "Q" at 0530 outside the RV.  The day was supposed to be a day of rest, but when you get into a routine, sleeping in isn't an option. Ross rolled out at 0600 to join the men and headed out to McDonalds for coffee and to welcome the Hitman to the Team.

After coffee the team went back to base camp and found the rest of the Team suited n booted.  Ross and Kristi cooked up bacon provided by BILL-E's and eggs.  The rest of the afternoon was spent with family and friends telling stories and watching the kids play.  It was a wonderful afternoon and allowed time to get to know Ross,Kristi,Missy, Charlie, Kenzie and Kendall.

Finally, it was time to put the Hitman to the test and step off to get 11 miles in.  (Click here to watch the video)  Since Ross was here, we took his vehicle, loaded up Missy, the kids and the Team and drove to the last checkpoint.  Shane, Shawn, "Q" and Ross stepped off with the goal of humping 11 miles.  Navy took Missy and the girls and went back to base camp.  Navy went shopping at Walmart and Ray made a necessary stop. When we got the first message from the Team in the field that they already chewed up 4 miles and Air Force was hanging tight.

The Team was 31 miles from Base Camp by the time Navy and Ray caught up with the Team, they were 33 miles out and made their 11 mile goal. Hitman hung in there and represented the Air Force like a trooper.  The Team was in good spirits and headed back to base camp looking forward to the feast that Ross and Kristi were preparing.  We arrived back at base camp and found Missy and the Kids preparing smores by the campfire.  It wasn't long before everyone was enjoying Venison with pottoe salad, and peach cobbler. Everyone sat back and told stories of what a life altering journey and how it has changed something in all of us.

Taking time to decompress with friends and family is always important, think about the Veteran who doesn't have that support. These Veterans may seem they have no hope, no way to deal with the inner deamons that haunt them, the loneliness that never seems to end.  You can give a Vet a small break from just showing there are people out there that care about what they have sacrificed and thank them for thier service.  Even that brief interaction may help to save the life of a veteran.

On behalf of the Booyah Team we want to thank each and everyone who has reached out and supported all of us on this journey to end and epidemic that has been left dormant for entirely to long. In order to be successful we must take massive action and band together to cut the head of the snake that is poisoning our Veterans!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Day 13 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - KOA and RV Mech Finally Arrive

Day 13 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project
Reveille was at 0400 and Mobile Command rolled out and inserted Shane and "Q" at the last check point, at this point Shane has marched off nearly 200 miles.  The Marines stepped off and got after it looking to get 11 miles before breakfast.  Navy, Shawn and Ray posted up at McDonald's as the KOA that Hitman lined up was not open yet.  Shawn got some rest and Navy and Ray got busy catching up with videos and blog. 11 miles out, Mobile Command inserted Shawn and "Q" was extracted.  Mobile Command then got the call that The RV Mechanic was at the KOA, with the working Generator. Mobile Command checked into KOA, set up base camp and installed the Generator.  Finally, after 10 days without a Generator, Mobile Command was fully Operational.

01200 The Marines called for Extraction and the Team stopped off for lunch, then returned to Base camp. Everyone got busy catching up with work.  0800 the Team headed to Deal's Oyster Restaurant and was treated, once again, by family.  Navy was extremely happy with some of the best lightly battered shrimp he ever tasted.  The boys were well fed and happy and rolled back to Base camp.

Tonight is a big night with the arrival of Missy and Charlie and Ross "The Hitman" Sykes and wife.  Missy arrived around 1030 and the "Hitman" made it at 1100.

Tomorrow will be a family day and we will be welcoming Ross and his wife who made the journey from Lower Alabama (L.A.) to join the fight and provide some much need supplies.  The Booyah Team want to Thank Ross and Welcome him to the Team.

Day 12 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - More Veterans, More Hiking

Day 12 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project
Reveille was at 0300 and Shane and "Q" geared up and stepped off to get 11. The Team's feet are weathered and able to take the daily pounding.  The 22 miles per day has now become a regiment with everyone waking up, knowing what to do and getting after it.

Most days the Team chews up 11 miles before breakfast and spend the rest of the morning talking with Veterans for all walks of life. Today 2 Vets stopped by and talked with Shane, they discussed what they do to give back and what more can be done.

The Team had lunch at base camp and stepped off in the afternoon to get another 11.  Panama city is still quite a distance away, but at the Team's current pace, they will arrive with time to spare.

At 01600 Shane called for extraction and they were happy that dinner was provided by The Gathering Table set up once again my Ross "Hitman" Sykes.  The entire team enjoyed a good meal and headed back to base camp.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Day 11 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project - The Other Side Of The Tracks

Day 11 - Booyah Veteran Bus Project

The Team Pushed forward and relocated base camp to a new RV Park.  It was quite a difference from the Williston Crossings.
We were graciously given a place to park Mobile Command and discovered that we were surrounded by Veterans.  However, these Veterans were not so fortunate.  We took time to get to know our neighbor and a few others.  He was tearing apart an old wheelchair to repair his wheel chair.  He had lost his legs in a work accident, after he got out of the service and was currently living in a 5x7 pull behind next to us.  His story is too long and sad to repeat here, but we did capture the entire interview on camera and will be held for release.  The story is heartbreaking.  We met several other Veterans with somewhat similar stories, missing limbs, living in conditions that, lets just say, are not optimial.  They all told the same story about the trouble they have getting to the VA, trouble with the VA and the limitations of care received at the VA.
This stop had to be one of the most eye opening so far.  Considering we just came from a beautiful RV camp where everyone was successful, to this RV park where most were struggling to pay for the next weeks stay.  it really puts things into perspective and makes one wonder how things can be so different.  Now, Just for the record, we spoke to several Vets at the Williston Crossings RV park that had complained about the VA, however they, unlike the Vets at this RV park, choose to obtain addition medical coverage so that the VA was only a "back up" and NOT their primary form of healthcare.
One Vet told me a story about a Veteran Friend of his that when to the VA to see a specialist because of chest pains...
The story goes, the doctor told the Vet he needed to have an "incident" before the Dr. could authorize seeing a specialist...  essentially, saying he needed to have a heart attack before he would be seen...

There are literally 10's of thousands of Veterans who are suffering because of a broken system.  The public treats stray pets better than Homeless Veterans and yet without them, the freedom they take for granted would not be there.  Their sacrifice is what enables the public to get their panties in a punch about the most inconsequential shit.  So, just remember the next time you see a Veteran, Homeless or Not, imagine what they sacrificed to allow you to tweet stupidity about our great nation and know that your imagination is are puppy dogs and rainbows in comparison to what they actually saw and lived through.

So, the next time you see a guy with the gray beard and a hat that says "Vietnam Veteran" or "Korean Veteran" or just "Veteran", Reach out and thank him for his service.  tell him you appreciate everything he or she sacrificed for our Nation and without Everything and I mean EVERYTHING you take for granted would be just a dream.

Hike Update - Team Pushed out 40+ miles and we will be advancing to the next RV camp.  Ross "Hitman" Sykes continues to be our "Eyes in the Skies" and working his magic locating Veteran Friendly business who are helping us with the Project.