In honor of Veterans’ Day: On a mission to save our children
This week, following the election in the U.S. (which is some ways continues) we have an important day on November 11th: Veterans Day. Let me briefly share that Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919. That day marks the first anniversary of the end of World War I, with the official end of fighting having been identified as 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The first time the term “Veterans’ Day” was used was in 1947 in Birmingham, AL and President Eisenhower signed the bill to designate November 11th as Veterans’ Day in 1954. Since then Veterans’ Day has been observed – though there were attempt to change it, November 11th has prevailed. It’s important to note and understand that Veterans Day pays tribute to and honors all American veterans, whether living or passed on, and to particularly focus on the living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. This is a major difference to Memorial Day.
In honor of Veterans’ Day I want to highlight the fact that the majority of service members are dedicated and committed to serve in more ways than one. They have a history of continuing to serve their communities, their states, and their countries even after retirement.
I had the honor of meeting one of those servant leaders myself and I would like to dedicate this article to him – knowing that there are many more like him; many of whom create, lead, and operate important organizations that help other veterans (e.g. Wounded Warrior Project, Homes for our Troops, and many more). This Army veteran, Patrick Parker, better known to many as Sergeant Pushup, served on tour in Iraq and upon his return home he has turned his focus to helping and supporting our youth. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland and yet, is mostly on the road to pursue his mission.
When I met him he was sharing his comic book and activities fully and entirely on anti-bullying and feeding our children through collaborating with the Maryland Food Bank, Feeding America, and No Kid Hungry. He does those through pushups and those pushups convert to meals; every pushup is a dollar is a meal. He’s literally been traveling the country making a difference every single day – just him, his car, and his teddy bear look-alike.
Since the pandemic hit Sgt. Pushup has been reading and recording “Bedtime Stories” for kids and sharing them on Facebook Live. This is also the time that he adjusted to his current focus for as long as needed; this is educating children on proper hygiene. So now, when he is traveling across the country he is sharing the stories about Germs via his second comic workshop titled “Sgt. Pushup Talks to Kids about Germs.” It’s It is an interactive comic workbook that reinforces techniques children should know regarding keeping themselves safe during these challenging times. In the tradition of his previous book, this is also a non-threatening, fun comic-workbook that includes writing exercises that will help children remember hygiene, social distancing and not get confused or scared; it can help parents in their daily efforts to prepare their kids.
How does this all work? For every dollar donated Sgt. Pushup does one push-up and for every ten dollars donated Sgt. Pushup does 10 pushups and gives his book to a child. Right now he is working on giving away books to the Boys & Girls Club and children across the nation.
In in own words, “When the Coronavirus Pandemic hit the United States, I became very concerned about how it could affect not only the community but our children; that is when I immediately began thinking of ways to help parents talk to their kids about COVID19 in a way that wasn’t frightening. I feel I achieved that in writing this comic workbook called “Sgt. Pushup Talks To The Kids About Germs” – and he is on his mission every day, regardless of where it may take him.
Sgt. Pushup is hopeful that he can return to his anti-bullying mission soon to continue his pushup support for all children and simply feels the need to focus on hygiene for now. His methods have achieved great success in his campaigns and he has been highlighted on various News Channels from Florida to New York (where he completed 4000 pushups and turned them into meals for kids) to Texas and back.
Sergeant Pushup, or Patrick Parker, is just one of the many veterans who continue their service after leaving the military; who continue their service for others, who continue their service to keep their communities and fellow humans save. Sgt. Pushup does that with a special eye on our children. Make sure to remember that service does not begin or end with a profession or job – it comes from the heart – as our veterans know. For that, I am honor all veterans who see beyond themselves and are servant leaders – every day.
Follow Sgt. Pushup and learn more about the mission he is on when he says “Stop I Count” on behalf of our children. Not to mention, challenge him to a pushup contest and provide meals and books for kids right here in the U.S.A.
Meet him here: Sgtpushup.com. or: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sgtpushup and see the impact one veteran, one person can have when s/he believes in the importance and is dedicated to that mission without fail.