The common theme and lessons learned from this recent Bonfire event in Granby, Colorado was a real focus that we must live our lives to the fullest and take advantage of the time we have been given. As combat wounded veterans that all have received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat at the hand of the enemy, that lesson is a little tougher to come by than for most because for every thought of seizing the day they are reminded of the price they had to pay to gain such knowledge. The loss of those that fought beside them, the loss of a limb, the loss of a career, the loss of peace and quiet as their minds sometime never stop. However, we had special guest this weekend retired Army Colonel Mike Peffers who shared his story and insight from his experience with stage 4 cancer. Peffers pleaded with these men to live each day to the fullest. One of these Purple Hearts summed it up by saying, “that as hard as life gets and who and what we’ve lost, we have to keep fighting, fight to live and never give up...always remember, never forget but keep moving forward to complete our mission. We all have a purpose. We’ve lost brothers and have had our good share of problems but we’re alive, take advantage of what we have.” This mindset carried on throughout the weekend ahead while soaking in the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains!
“I’m not done with this life yet.” ~ Purple Heart Recipient
This group tore it up when fishing on Grand Lake, golfed like pros at Granby Ranch Golf Club, chilled in some kayaks thanks to Mountain Paddlers, and managed to get in a little hiking. With all this activity we had quite a few civilians that helped us with throughout the event and were introduced to our mission and the Veterans. As we have seen many times this interaction creates positive change and understanding as people in general want to help, they want to understand and support, but many don’t know how. The very best way to help is to build an event in your local area by finding support from various individuals or companies. Colorado folks have been generous year after year to the Warrior Bonfire Program and while visiting we invited Doug Smith, Director of Impact for Zivaro, formerly known as GTRI to come out and see firsthand how their future partnership with the WBP will impact the lives of those that have sacrificed for our freedoms. Once again building the connections between military and civilians will only better the lives of all involved.
Kevin Prior volunteers for the Warrior Bonfire Program in the area of Business Development and he served this past weekend as Staff Support along with Rob Bingham of Excel Energy and the Colorado Veterans Project, both witnessed many of the great qualities our Purple Heart Veterans hold, “These veterans are all humble as all get up. Regardless of what they’ve been through, they always find a way to laugh and recognize others. Their stories belong to them and it’s incredible they can share with like minded warriors, this program makes that happen.” Prior stated. They also recognized that humor among this group was used not only to poke fun at each other but also as tool to communicate some underlying issues which opened the door to more impactful conversations which led to this following comment,
“that as hard as life gets and who and what we’ve lost, we have to keep fighting, fight to live and never give up...always remember, never forget but keep moving forward to complete our mission. We all have a purpose. We’ve lost brothers and have had our good share of problems but we’re alive, take advantage of what we have.”
Once again, thank you to all those that donate and support our mission and our Veterans, especially the following companies along with videographer Jen Burch. We can't do these events without you! Click here to see Photos from Bonfire 57
WBP Team writers
Blogs are written by staff members of the Warrior Bonfire Program along with guest writers.