My Parents – Two of the most loving giving people you will ever meet in your life. My parents are retired Salvation Army Officers and dedicated 30+ years of their lives to helping others. I’m not the most religious person in the world but I feel being brought to church up until the age of 15 installed some great values in my life and obviously being around the giving rubbed off in me in a positive way. I love them dearly and am so grateful for them. Also my brother and sister being there to no matter what.
Our servicemen & women – I have been lucky enough to meet hundreds of our troops Canadian, British, and USA soldiers so far. I’ve met veterans who served in WW2, men and women who have done 3 to 4 tours of Afghanistan. A Medic who treated injured soldiers you name it. When I meet them they say “Thanks” for running the groups I do and such but I’m humbled and honored to hear that. Thank You to each and every one of you for your service in so many ways.
Barry Green - They say when you are going through life you will have one teacher or instructor who will make a positive influence in your life and you will never forget. I wanted to tell you about Barry Green. When I lived in Newfoundland and was doing a business adminstration program Barry was my instructor for several classes. He was funny, did impressions to get the point across and there was one saying he had that I live by every day.
He spoke about “The Tiger & The Rose” and in order to be successful in life you have to be as fierce as a Tiger but as gentle as a rose. I try and live by this still and it has been something that has stuck with me since even though that was almost ten years ago.For me the tiger and the rose is when people look at me they see this big guy who’s 6’3 and 250lbs but on the inside I’m probably the kindest person you’d ever meet.
General Rick Hillier – A few months ago I was lucky enough to meet General Hillier and hear him speak about oursoldiers, families and things in general. I have never been so captivated by listening to someone speak. Every soldier I have ever spoken with have spoken so highly of him and when I got to meet him and shake his hand, I was quick to understand why.
Kay Kennedy – Another influential person in my life, she is one of the strongest women I have ever met in my life. She is the first military related person I met almost 3.5 years ago and the mother of fallen Canadian soldier Pte Kevin Kennedy. Every tribute video I have made she pops online to chat as soon as its done and has been there a lot of the downs of my site like when it was hacked and shut down and has simply said amazing things to me that keeps me going.
Julian Austin – A Canadian country singer who wrote the song “The Red & White” which inspired the Thankasoldier.net cause and page and I have never met someone in my life with a stronger passion for our troops and supporting them.
The Red Friday Ladies – Karen Boire and Lisa Miller – The pioneers of Red Fridays in Canada. I have never come across two women with such a passion for supporting our military as these two ladies. thi is not a charity it a movement that has taken on a whole new meaning by itself.
MCpl Elton Adams – A brave soldier who I was introduced to through Kay Kennedy, when I first heard his song“What A Soldier Left behind” and heard that he wrote his whole album while on tour in Afghanistan the words blow my mind. Elton will be doing a live show on the 28th of December and I can’t wait to meet him in person, shake his hand and hear him perform live.
Angelina Phillips – A Gold star mother in the USA, the first person I met through my Thankasoldier.net site south of the border. She lost her son in Iraq and is also a strong woman. From her and all the families of the fallen I’ve met online and in person I’ve learned to take nothing for granted and it makes me appreciate my family so much more.
Cpl Jodi Mitic – Jodi lost both his legs due to a IED in Afghanistan and to this day he hasn’t quit. He has run in many events such a loops for troops and is one of the strongest people I have met. Jodi also helps me by yelling at me and telling me to go to the gym, hahah and when I look at what he’s been through it makes me feel pretty lazy and usually works. You can follow him on Twitter @Jmitic and view more about his story on You Tube
Kelly G – A non military related person but a great friend. She is one of the funniest people I have ever met and if you haven’t heard of her you should look her up onYouTube she is lifting the world one person at a time. If I’m ever in a bad mood which isn’t that often I have a look on her videos to see what she is up to
Kevin Mcharg & Liz Jackson - The founder of Hero to Hero USA Lisa Miller and Kevin who runs Hero to Hero Team Canada are two amazing people also who put their heart and souls in to what they do.
Every Military Family member I have met - It’s hard to post these individually obviously but The Family of Chad Horn and Mike Seggie two best friends who lost their lives in Afghanistan since they were KIA I have become very close with both families and attended Pte Chad Horns funeral. Being there at a military funeral for the first time I can’t even put in to words but his entire family and the Seggie families are an amazing group of people.
The 3 guys who Stabbed me in Ottawa - You might look at that and think huh? but In 1994 I was jumped by three guys in Ottawa Ontario and stabbed twice in my leg and several times on my back. One of the wounds on my back punctured my lung, one missed my heart by a inch and the two on my leg have left me with no nerves in my upper left thigh. This day changed me for the rest of my life, I had so many physical dreams and goals that were halted when that happened but mentally it made me stronger than ever. Ever since that day I have always done random acts of kindness and attempted to do what I could with my second chance. Long before the Tim Hortons
for our troops started, I used to go around to Fire Halls and bring them coffee and donuts once a week and thats where it all began for me. So every time I talk about it now I look at it like that and it took me awhile to get to this point but honestly, when I look back on it, was the best thing that ever happened to me.
4.1 Million Members of my Thank A Soldier cause page and Facebook groups – This is a group shout out to every single person who is involved with Thank a soldier. Those who share the stories, thoughts, pictures and videos, without all of them my group would be a one person group and obviously not very interesting.
Carson Daly, Collective Soul and Chris Cornell - Ok so three celebrities made the list but rightfully so. They all do so much to support our troops and I thought deserved a shout out. Carson is involved with supporting the troops on Twitter and did one of his shows from a base in the states and suited up with the US ARMY for an entire show. I have had the pleasure of talking to these people via Twitter and who would have thought that a few years ago lol
So here is my Influential people list so far, I’ll keep adding to it as I keep meeting more and more people.