Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Honor of Disabled Veterans

Today is a day to stop and think about those in our lives who served to help protect our country and our right of freedom. My list is long -- and it starts with my dad who served in the U.S. Navy during WW II stationed on Iwo Jima. The list continues from there with family and friends, both male and female, who did what they could to help support our rights as human beings. When I heard that Diane Musselmann, a lifetime friend and widow of war veteran, Kenny Musselmann, was putting together an awareness and fundraising project in support of the first national memorial dedicated to the disabled veterans from all wars, the American Veteran's Disabled for Life Memorial, I was inspired to help out where and how I could. Diane completed her "Walking for Those Who Can't" venture in October -- walking from the VA Hospital in Long Beach and ending at the VA Hospital in San Diego -- a ninety-mile trek completed in one week all the while pushing Kenny's empty wheelchair. On November 10th, Diane was in Washington, D.C. at the official groundbreaking of the memorial -- something that she and Kenny had envisioned for years.

I created the red, white and blue bracelet, shown layered here with others from my personal collection, as a way of supporting the overall effort. The first bracelet out of the studio is being wrapped and sent to Diane today. I included an "inspire" charm on hers. Why? Kenny and Diane are inspiring people -- their kids and grandkids, I'm sure, would agree. The life they had together and the life that continues is nothing short of inspiring and I want to share that with all of you. In my little way of helping and asking you to join the cause, twenty percent of the retail price of this bracelet will be donated to the American Veteran's Disabled for Life Memorial fund -- and not just for today, or for this month, but for as long as I am able to make them. For more information about the memorial and to read the details of Diane's walk, click here. And, remember to take a bit of time and thank those who served or are serving in order to protect our freedom and not just today, or this month -- they should be remembered and thanked every day of every year. And, when someone asks about the beauty of a bracelet you are wearing, take a few minutes to share the story of the memorial and what it represents. It'll make your heart feel good -- I know it does mine.