By Nicole King
At the end of 2017, a heartwarming discussion brought together by Brittany Vonow was recorded, leaving viewers speechless. A retired veteran, Simon Brown, had an in-depth conversation with a five-year old, Tempy Pattinson, about her contribution to war veterans. Pattinson wanted to not only thank him, but help make a difference for others risking their lives every day. Though he was one of many to choose to fight for our country, his battle wounds will forever leave him scarred.
While on a rescue mission in Iraq, Brown saved six of his colleagues when he was suddenly injured by a shot to the left side of his face. This powerful shot left Brown in need of twenty-five operations and many sleepless nights in a hospital bed. The thirty-eight year old survived, but 80% of his sight will forever be unrecoverable. Losing something so important to the daily life resulted in major setbacks which required him to completely rebuild his life. This is nothing anyone can prepare for, including Brown when he stated, “We were trained to invade and fight whereas the rebuilding stage was not what we were used to doing.” Luckily, he did not have to endure this laborious task all by himself. Junior, Jared Thomas, said “Since I’m very patriotic, I like to write soldiers letters to make them feel like they aren’t alone.” These brave men and women travel around the world, risking their lives. The least Americans can do is small activities such as the letters to make them feel at home.
After telling his story to the little girl during their interview, she responded by explaining her efforts to raise money at a triathlon. When asked why she felt the need to get involved, Pattinson said “Even though I didn't know any of the soldiers, I just thought that they did something for us.” This passion for giving back started when she was only three-years old and asked her mother what sacrifices soldiers have made for our country. After her mother explained a broad overview of their duties, Pattinson was quite proud and wanted to raise a profit to go towards their extensive recovery. Later on, she biked in a 100 meter triathlon for veterans. Being afraid to ride her bicycle would no longer override her determination to make a difference. Just like Pattinson, Junior, Shea Lally said “I’m not much of a runner, but I once completed a two-mile run to raise our veterans money.” Whether the activity is large or small, the smallest difference can mean a ton to a soldier.
At the end of their conversation, the two both stated that they are each other's heroes. Challenges like the ones Pattinson faced and the money she raised allowed soldiers like Brown to get proper treatment. Both their substantial impacts on our country shall not be forgotten. It is crucial for people to be informed of ways to aid those who risk their lives to fight for those they have never even met. Citizens can sleep at peace through the night due to heroes such as Brown who deploy across the world to protect our country. Never take for granted all that these brave men and women do for our country. It is encouraged that everyone takes the time to do something as simple as swim, run, or bike to raise money for our wounded warriors.