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Monday, September 21, 2009

It is not over, yet.

The I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage is far from over. Yes, the actual crossing of the Atlantic is behind us but now is the hard part.
We must begin the publicity tour and we must find 150,000 members to join our team.
I must stop at this point and appreciate all the people who have worked so hard behind the scenes.
Let’s start with Anne Brown, my wife. After the original screw up of the shirts, (By the way if you have one they are collector’s items), she took it completely over and together with Kevin, I am sorry I don’t know Kevin’s last name, fixed it. She has hand folded, packed, labeled, and mailed every single shirt going out. Not only has she done that she took care of details for Dream Boats and our children. She has had to be mother and father to our three teenagers. Yes, we have excellent children, but they are still teens. That takes a lot of work. She has also put up with me. She delivered our oldest to college and did not have my shoulder to cry on as she said goodbye to her baby as he stepped off into the world. This trip took almost twice as long as originally planned because of storms, etc. She has had a lot on her plate. Thank you Anne,
Bob’s wife Jill, she also had to be mom and dad to their two children. She has had to drive their oldest back to college and numerous other things without Bob. She too has to put up with the extended trip. Thank you Jill.

Bruce, in Boston, has been unbelievable in all that he has done. This guy is like magic on a computer. He seems to know stuff that God must have told him. He has been Johnny on the spot day in and day out you could depend on Bruce. He has coordinated everything that you can imagine. He has been available by phone early morning and late at night and has never complained about those phone calls. He has not been paid one dime for all this work. Thank you, Bruce.
Bernie Heckmann and Trey Hacker, who took care of the website, the blog transcriptions, the email letters, and many other things. These guys worked long hard hours and always came through. Bernie and Trey thank you so much.
Renee who took care of our web site in the early stages of this trip. Renee worked day in and day out. Renee, Thank you.
John Carroll, J.C., this guy was a regular do anything get it done guy. In the early stages of the voyage he would go to each of our stops and make sure that everything was done. Thank you, John.
John McDaniels, retired Lt Col, US Army, constant source of information and contacts as well as personally driving wounded heroes to meet us. He runs a program called Wounded Warriors in Action where his wife and he personally fund recovery programs for wounded heroes. It is great people like John and his wife that put their money and time where their mouth is that make the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage such a wonderful opportunity to be a part of.
General Bob Dees (Ret), whose involvement with Military Ministry helps wounded heroes to recover from the unseen injuries that so many don’t like to talk about. General Bob Dees has been a constant source of wisdom and help. Thank you, General.
General Bryan Doug Brown (Ret) has also been a constant source of wisdom. Thank you General Brown
Rebecca and the SPM team, who on a voluntary basis have involved themselves in our press and media. After working painstakingly hard on getting the perfect press release that opens doors without closing any, they then spend hour after hour making individual calls to the editors of magazines, newspapers, and producers of Television news and talk shows. We know it takes long hard work to make the necessary upcoming media work. Thank you Rebecca and the SPM team.
Jodi and Larry Ross Communications, they have been instrumental in numerous television, newspaper, and radio opportunities. Thank you Jodi and Larry Ross Communications.
Norm and Scott Miller together with the Interstate Battery Team, and the I AM SECOND Crew, especially Charlie Brim, provided the initial funding that made this voyage possible.
Peter Rostel who gets very little credit but the one thing he did behind the scene made all this possible, he gave me credit to purchase the first boat I built back from him. When you have risked everything you own to keep a promise and get a company off the ground, you appreciate people like Pete Rostel who believe in your dream and stick their neck out to help make it happen.
To all of our sponsors, that is a different post, but thank you as well.
One thing for sure is once you start saying thank you to volunteers; you are guaranteed to leave someone out. We have had so many volunteers that have helped us at different ports and harbors that it would be impossible to name them all, but you know who you are.
To every person involved in the past or in the future, on behalf of each and every person who puts on a uniform to stand up for freedom I want to thank you, because without you we would need someone else just like you. Thank you for being you.


  1. Ralph,
    The big question. Are you home?

  2. As of Tuesday morning, Ralph is still in Germany, trying to make arrangements for the boat to be shipped back. Bob left earlier to get back to his painting business and to start work writing the book about this trip: This Time the Whole Atlantic in a Flats Boat which will be availible sometime early next year through his website he also has his other two books availible there:

    Bermuda Suicide Challenge in a Flats Boat

    Running for Fun, Highschool Runner, Jonathan Brown (382 pages)

  3. Bob should make this book about Survival at sea. The true life story of two brothers surviving in the Atlantic in the smallest powerboat that ever crossed the Atlantic Ocean