Undisclosed Area of Operation Afghanistan- When American300 built the second tour in it's series 'Profiles in Extreme Courage' for Armed Forces Entertainment... it was looking for Marines. Having a founder that announces for the USMC's Marathon every year helped.
Two years ago as 35,000+ runners toed the starting line of the Marine Corps Marathon they were urged on by not only the new commandant General Amos, comedian Drew Carey and countless others... they were front row witnesses to a spectacular airborne assault of the finish line.
With just moments to go to the start of the event a garrison sized American Flag was descending gracefully out of the sky... the work of master parachutist, three time Purple Heart recipient and Marine: John Bates, Col retired. Colonel Bates had retired from service to our country a few years before, but had continued on in his duty and dedication to service by taking on the role of aerial airborne ambassador to the Marines Wounded Warrior Regiment.
2012 Armed Forces Entertainment Leathernecks Tour...
Colonel Bate’s serves as an ambassador of resiliency for American300 along with Colonel Tim Howard, Master Sergeant Spanky Gibson along with Lance Corporal Sal ‘Gonzo’ Gonzalez, all decorated wounded Marine warrior veterans.
Wounded Warrior Leathernecks!
While Colonel Bates, retired has been jumping into Football Stadiums and NASCAR tracks, his son Josh has been serving our country here in Afghanistan... as a United States Marine Corps Major.
Today, the Major got to see the Colonel... the son got to spend some time with his father. “I knew that Armed Forces Entertainment and American300 would put us in this area of operation” said Colonel Bates “but I also knew that operational tempo would make it a roll of the dice as to whether I’d be lucky enough to see Josh.”
Thankfully, the two were able to unite. “If someone told me I’d be watching Colonel Bates walk down a dirt path with his son in a combat zone a year ago, I would have said ya right” remarked, Spanky Gibson an above knee amputee who was the first to be allowed back into the combat zones as an above knee amputee back in 2007 “I just wish the two could have spent more time together today, but like Colonel Bates said... ‘Josh has a mission set and so do we’.”
Missions of duty, sacrifice, honor... and resiliency... with a little fatherly love thrown on top...
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For more on Armed Forces Entertainment visit: www.armedforcesentertainment.com
American300 is an all volunteer nonprofit run by veterans and civilians with a mission of raising the resiliency of our Troops, Their Family Members and the Areas in which they live and operate in.