Hey, I believe in supporting veterans, service members, and their families year round. They deserve a lot more credit than they get.
I'm a sponsor of the Bob Woodruff Foundation's event Stand Up For Heroes (SUFH), and the money raised goes to support programming and resources for the folks who give up so much for our country.
John said that he listened to Bruce Springsteen every morning and every evening while he was deployed in Iraq in Desert Storm. He listened so often that he went through four cassette tapes of Born in the USA.
In 2009, shortly after his mom passed away, John when through a rough patch where his wife moved out and his business was failing. One day, during this time, John was driving and Born in the USA came on radio. He said it was almost like he was reliving all the good things in his life, like he was in concert, back in college, attending Springsteen's Born in the USA tour. At that moment, something really odd happened--John passed someone standing on the side of the road who he had not seen in almost 25 years. It was a soldier who he'd considered "his boy" in Desert Storm, a 19 year old service member he had taken under his wing years previously, on the ay they left for Operation Desert Shield in 1991.
After their roadside reunion, John pulled away and heard a commercial for Springsteen's upcoming concert. He decided to call up his wife, who had moved out, and he invited her on a date to the Springsteen concert. She said yes. The concert was so powerful that John returned the next night, too. He was, and still is, so moved by Springsteen's commitment to veterans. It was these moments that were the catalyst for the beginning of John's recovery.
It is such an honor to be able to award these tickets to John Cianci, and to be at the very same concert with him years later. You can still get your tickets, sponsor, or follow along using the hashtag # #Stand4Heroes.
And, even though the contest is over, I'd love to hear your stories about why you are thankful for service members, veterans, and military families.