We are blessed with many wonderful friends. It was our friends Tiffany and Don Smith who set up our first speaking engagement at the Carver Center in Oklahoma City, OK in January of 2006 where we would be meeting with many veterans in the substance abuse program.
Tiffany even "googled" book signings to check on some pointers! What a lady! She had posters made for us! We arrived to a room decked out with lovely table decorations and the smell of good food!
As the veterans entered we were able to meet and greet them and chat a while before dinner. There were also a lot of others invited...some of them from the Veterans Administration...everyone was glad when the "chow" line was open and we could fill our plates with food! Our daughter Teresa was able to make it to hear her Dad speak and also visit with Tiffany and Don...(It was through Teresa and her daughter Brittnee that we met these wonderful people).
After we had all eaten, Eddie was introduced and did his "thing". He told his story, our story. He let them know that even though he'd been seriously injured...
many good things came after and we've had a good life. Losing his legs closed some doors to him, but opened others. After speaking he opened it up for questions...
then he signed books for all those that were there.
Later we were told that the men who had been there that night were "holding their heads higher and complaining less".
We were back at the Carver Center in March of 2007. The evening went much the same as before...ONLY this time all the veterans wanted me to sign the book too! It really was quite a thrill to turn to my chapter and sign the book for them! It is "special" to be able to say that I have a chapter in his book named after me!
While we were signing books a veteran came up to Eddie and quietly said "Your talk was just in time." It makes us realize that what we are doing does mean something and makes a difference to those we meet and speak with.
It is like a song we heard last night about letting your scars show....because then others see them AND SEE HOW YOU HAVE OVERCOME THEM! IF you can do it...SO CAN THEY!
IF telling our story helps others....we will continue for as long as we are able!