Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Poem for my Dad, a Navy man who passed away on March 21

I was honored to speak today at my father's memorial service. He motivated me to join the military and deserves every honor I can give him. Please read this and pass it along to your friends and family if it inspires you the way John Henry Wiggins inspired me. Thank you and God Bless our military service members and their families.

Who am I? To John, From his son, Sam 03/31/11

Who am I? Surely you must recognize me…
We have spent countless hours together on good days and bad.

I am your Brother; your Father; your In-law; your neighbor; and friend.
Every time we see each other, something is right again in this world.

The other day you saw me by the curb… I had found a washer; a screw;
A nut or a bolt… I picked it up and put it in my pocket and smiled.
I collect life’s lost or broken objects and return them to a purpose; a project;
Or something you needed to be repaired.

There is no hour of the day you cannot call on me…
Yes neighbor; Yes Son; Yes Brother and friend, do call…
I’ll be ready with my tools; my expert advice;
My opinion; or my shovel and pail… I will be here for you.

I have never judged you; by all means you know I have never said I am perfect…
Yet I seek perfection in all things. My standards are very high for myself and for you.
I may have rolled my eyes; I might sneer or frown; but we’ll step off together,
And I’ll see your problem through as though it were my own. We’re family, right?

You have called me many times without hesitation;
Maybe when there was no where else for you to turn…
You have lived in my house until you found a new home;
I might have given you $5 or $500, no matter… there is no debt to be repaid.

We laughed, Oh how we laughed at all hours of the day;
Sometimes laughter was all we had.
I might not have cried with you, as I am the strong silent type,
But my eyes have been wet with your pain.

I am so stubborn you almost can’t stand it. Really, I’m so painstakingly stubborn,
Sometimes I can’t even stand myself; yet you shrug it off,
And you still love me as I have always loved you.

I am part of you and you will always be part of me;
Our secrets will be safe forever; unshaken by the test of time;
I’m sure we will see each other again.

Has the Son become the Father?
Can you see the Father in the Son?
Yes, you recognized me today. I am John Henry Wiggins.
Or at least Mr. Wiggins will always be free to live on in me.
I am certainly better as a person, just to say I have known him. Rest in peace Dad.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It is time to sell books and raise money for Phila area Vet charities

Follow along as we begin the journey of caring for our area Veterans together.

I've purchased 625 paperbacks valued at $19.99. You can purchase up to five, author signed copies, directly from me using the "Buy Now" PayPal button on the book web site. Each book has the potential to raise up to $11.20 for Philadelphia area Veteran charities. Please pass this information along to any Vet or Veteran family member you may know!

Please visit


Monday, March 7, 2011

VA issues key report to Congress on Homeless Vets

These statistics are staggering, but who will take action? Guard and Reserve suicides are double the 2009 rate, but who will take action?  We must rally behind our Veterans and their families NOW. If you can participate in just one Vet charity, one family support event, or donate to a worthy charity like the Liberty USO, the impact will be real. Please consider doing what you can. God Bless our Service Members, their families, and our displaced or under-served Vet population.

    On a single night in January 2009, 75,609 veterans were homeless; 57 percent were staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program; and the remaining 43 percent were living on the street, in an abandoned building, or another place not meant for human habitation (i.e., unsheltered).
    Veterans are overrepresented among the homeless population. At a point in time in 2009, approximately 12 percent of all people (and 16 percent of adults) experiencing homelessness identified as a veteran, as did 10 percent of those homeless over the course of a year. Less than 8 percent of the total U.S. population has veteran status.
    An estimated 136,334 veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. This accounts for 1 of every 168 veterans in the U.S. or 1 out of every 10 veterans living in poverty.
    Just over 96 percent of sheltered veterans were individuals, and just less than 4 percent were veterans who were a part of a family.
    While homeless veterans make up less than 1 percent of all veterans, within the poverty population veterans are at greater risk of homelessness than non-veterans. Ten percent of veterans in poverty became homeless at some point during the year, compared to just over 5 percent of adults in poverty.