RUSH: Veterans Day 2014 on the Excellence in Broadcasting Network. I remember the 50th Anniversary Dinner for National Review magazine. It was in Washington. I forget where it was, but it was an elegant old ballroom in an elegant old building. And I was fortunate to be seated at the head table of Mr. Buckley. He said, “There’s only one caveat: No impersonations of me tonight. If you’re gonna impersonate me, you can’t sit at my table.”
I said, “I promise.”
Halfway through dinner, before the festivities, the post-dinner speaking and all festivities began. Somebody came to my table and said, “There’s some veterans here, some wounded vets from,” I think it was Walter Reed, “that have been invited and they’d like to meet you.” So I said, “Sure,” and I got up and I went to their table, and they were indeed wounded vets.
They had severe injuries in some cases, burns and a number of things. I’m telling you, folks, I’m just in awe of what these people do. Everybody spends the day thanking them and so forth. But as I get older, I actually contemplate what they volunteer to do, and then I think I’m having a bad day someday and I’ll put it in perspective by thinking of what they’re doing and the reality they face, particularly combat every day.
So I went over and I met these guys, and they started thanking me for what I do. Folks, I have to tell you, I felt about two-inches tall. I mean, here I am talking with some severely wounded military veterans — this is before I’ve had a chance to say anything to them — and they’re thanking me for what I’ve done. What I do, in my mind, pales. What most people do, I think, pales in comparison to what they did, particularly these guys.
I told them that. I said, “Look, I’m a little embarrassed here because I’m some guy on the radio.”
This guy looked at me, and I’ll never forget this. He looked me square in the eye and he said, “Sir, we all have our roles in life. We all have our roles to play, our roles in life. It’s all combined and it all matters, because it’s all related to the same objective, and that’s defending and protecting our country.” I’ve got this feeling of euphoria and happiness that these guys would in any way include me in their thoughts about what they do, when I’m nowhere close. (chuckles)
The pilots who flew the original missions for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 all flew a flag in their aircraft that ended up with me. But I didn’t, of course, know it was happening until it arrived. Sluggo, who flew the tankers that refueled all those guys had set that up, and we’ve got that flag framed and the letter that he sent accompanying all the certificates.
So, I tell you, when we were putting together and crafting the third book in the Rush Revere Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans series, the American history books for kids, we purposely — and I was chomping at the bit to tell everybody this beforehand, but I couldn’t because it just wouldn’t make any sense to you. But we timed the release of the latest book to coincide with Veterans Day.
Because the whole book is a dedication to modern day American military, and we spent a lot of time putting this book together and planning it with the other two so that the release date would coincide with Veterans Day. The release date was October 28th. Today is Veterans Day. So it’s a couple weeks after, and we’re within that ballgame. What we’ve done here… See, we live in the greatest country on earth, folks, and our history is just incredible.
Our mission in these books is to tell the story of the founding of this country in a relatable way, in a fun way that actually takes young readers to these moments, these seminal moments of American history and puts them in these moments and makes them part of the history. They actually have conversations. The reader participates in dialogue with famous Americans that made this country possible.
So they’re actual adventures.
We thought the best plan, the best way to do this would be to take them right to the action so they can experience all of these amazing events like the Pilgrims arriving and setting up their colony, the Boston Tea Party, Lexington, Concord — and we still have a lot to go in future books. But what we did with this one, is we combined one of the realities of modern military life, particularly those who are deployed. That is separation of families.
This was something, I must be honest, I was not nearly aware enough of or didn’t know nearly enough about. I always assumed that the children of moms and dads understood when mom and dad got deployed. I’ve never thought there would be any problem with it at all. And then I learned that it’s a major problem, because the kids don’t always understand, and they don’t understand why mom and dad are gone so long.
They’re too young.
They don’t yet have the awe and respect. They do for their parents, but in terms of the mission, they’re just not old enough for that to have developed yet. So we combined a story with a modern day character of the book. His dad gets deployed to Afghanistan and he’s just down in the dumps and depressed and feels rejected. He thinks his dad’s putting everything ahead of him, and he doesn’t understand it.
It’s only through time traveling to events in American history and talking to George Washington, for example, or Paul Revere and others that the light goes off in his head about how important his dad is and what his dad’s really doing. He ends up regretting being so selfish about it. I don’t want to end up giving the whole story away, but it’s our tribute — in our little, small way — to military families, and a way of acknowledging another aspect of their lives that we don’t think a lot of people really stop to think about.
So that’s what Rush Revere and the American Revolution is about, and we timed it, as I say, specifically so that its release date would be within close proximity to Veterans Day. We’ve got this great Facebook page, Facebook.com/RushRevere, where we are acknowledging veterans. We just posted a great tribute to a 92-year-old Marine who just passed away, who loved Two If By Tea and all of this.
It melts your heart, the things that people are sending to us now, kids and their parents and all that. So we’re posting a lot of it on our Facebook page and at the RushRevere.com exclusive website. So Veterans Day is a big day to us, and it’s a meaningful day, and it’s gratifying to see — as our caller from San Antonio in the Air Force said a moment ago, the — that everybody’s thanking the military today.
That’s good, ’cause it used to be that Veterans Day as was as casually accepted as Columbus Day was.
It was just nothing.
But today it’s a big day. It’s a bigger day than ever. There’s more and more appreciation for the American military as they come under assault, as they come under attack politically. More and more people are standing up and refusing to ignore it and put up with it. So it’s good, and there’s a new-found awareness and appreciation of American military personnel. Moms and dads, officers, enlisted people, you name it, they all are a cut above.