All Ian ever wanted to be was a soldier.
I never could quite understand it, and was never really very thrilled about it, but he was determined.
He had a plan, and Army Ranger School was in it.
Plans change and brain cancer happened, and I remember like it was yesterday when the nurse practitioner told me that with Ian’s diagnosis, he would not be able to join the military. It was shortly after surgery, and up until that point I had hardly cried. I think I was walking around in the cloud of shock a parent walks in during the 1st days of something as big as surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumor. When she told me that Ian would never get the chance to pursue his dream, never get the chance to be the only thing he ever wanted to be, I broke down.
It was too much.
It was bad enough that he had to deal with having a tumor & requiring surgery. It was bad enough that he was going to have to endure cancer treatments. It was even worse to accept the changes that came with Posterior Fossa Syndrome.
But to lose the hope of a dream? That was too much. That seemed too hard, harder even than twice daily physical therapy, then daily, then 3 times weekly, then once a week for 2 years…
But Ian didn’t have a choice. It was fight on, or, well, there was no or. Giving up was never an option.
Never Quit and Never Ever Give Up, or as Ian often says to himself, ”suck it up”.
It’s a great message, one that I get, one that Ian gets, but when life keeps handing you setback after setback, and the hard lasts longer than anyone expected, it feels impossible to not grow weary.
Never Ever Give Up. Never Quit.
2 years has been hard, but I’m pretty sure after hearing Marcus Luttrell tell his incredible, miraculous story, in person, in his own words, and getting to meet Marcus himself, has given Ian more than enough inspiration to keep fighting another year, or 2 years, or however long it takes. To Just. Keep. Fighting.
Yep, he got to meet a real American hero last Friday night!
Somebody heard my plea, and made a way!
For Ian, for a boy who only ever wanted to be an elite soldier, hearing a story like that from a man like Marcus, meant so much more than any other “press on” story out there. Meeting him, getting to spend time sitting down with Marcus, Marcus asking Ian about himself, about why he always wanted to be a soldier, meant more than anyone in that room could ever know.
It still seems a bit surreal.
The email that mentioned the Patriot Tour, the plea that went viral, the tweeting, the retweeting, the email from Team Never Quit.
The meeting Marcus! (And his lovely wife, Melanie, as well as the rest of Team Never Quit. Amazing people, every single one of them!)
It all seems so surreal, and yet it was all so real. It happened, and I have un-doctored photographic evidence.
They were all so real. Real people with inspiring stories.
Thank you, Marcus, and Team Never Quit, (and Glenn Beck!!!), you’ve blessed our hearts more than you’ll ever know!!