I want to introduce you all to Adam Kisielewski. He is a retired Marine Sergeant and lives and works in central Maryland, not far from my stomping grounds.
There’s a pretty good biography of him here. If you clicked through to that, you may notice something familiar about the site. It’s called 185 for Heroes, and it’s about a brother and sister who thought it would be fun to run the length of the C&O Canal Towpath (185 miles), and then decided to do it to help wounded veterans. It’s essentially 7 marathons long, and they ran one a day for 7 days.
Sounds like the plan. Karlos and I don’t plan on running, but we do plan on doing it in 6 days. Real tortoise and hare stuff. I can’t tell you how tickled I am that these folks did it, and they do it every year, or rather a new team does it.
Anyway, Adam was one of the vets they honored in 2011, and I have to tell you, he’s worth it. We met at a planning meeting for Marathon Golf 100, an event I am supporting. It is being run by the folks at the St Thomas More Academy to support the Academy and Operation Second Chance.
Which brings me back to Adam. He was an 0311 (Marine grunt) and took the brunt of an explsion in Iraq in August of 2005. There’s a certain humor among Marines that some civilians don’t get, so when I asked him when he lost is arm and he said it wasn’t lost, he knew just where it was, I laughed pretty loudly. The Marines have a couple of sayings about pain and it’s relation to weakness, and it is pretty obvious when you spend any amount of time with Adam that he proves that Parris Island maxim: “Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body.”
The man embodies strength, and in a quiet, unassuming way that makes me proud to have been in the same club as him. It is a personal example like him that makes me rededicate myself to the task ahead, and makes me challenge myself to do more, every day. I have a sort of survivors guilt for the easy way I got into the VFW; Desert Storm was a cake walk by comparison to Iraq II. But my good friend and former Marine Ben Cilento recently reminded me to hold my head high:
Don’t think of it that way (…) Our time was different but our sacrifices were just as real.. You should be proud of your service in all it’s forms…
So I am, but meeting someone like Adam reminds me that while I gave something, others give much, much more.
Adam is the VP of Operation Second Chance now, and he works tirelessly to help other wounded vets. The organization is worthy of my help, and yours too.
That being said, if you want to help, and you like to play golf, have I got a deal for you!
On June 11th, you (or you and a partner) can come out and play 100 holes of golf in a row, in one day. We will supply the balls, the tees, the cart, lunch, breakfast, etc. All you have to do is find 25 people willing to sponsor you for a dollar a hole. Sounds great, right. But that’s not the best part. I’ll get to that.
There is no waiting. No rules. No sitting behind a foursome that’s out for a mosey, tapping the ball gently down to the green.
No, you tee off when you feel like it. Just yell “fore” real loud. If someone’s on the green, give a holler and chip away. It’s like going fishing with no limit. It’s like driving on an empty autobahn. It’s like going to Fogo de Chao and never getting full.
If you’re interested, email me or check the website. And help me help Adam and Cindy over at Operation Second Chance make a difference.