August 27, 2010
Today was a long travel day as we head to Las Vegas for the Hannity Freedom concert. left the RV at the Larsens in order to save about 1000 miles of wear and of course the 6 miles to the gallon. It was better of course to get to know them and share stories of our kids. Very barren yet beautiful countryside as we headed south. One of the highlights of the drive was when my eye caught the flying of an Honor and Remember Flag at a veterans post (Order of the Eagles) right along Route 395. It was a real shocker to see the flag blowing proudly in the wind, we stopped but no one was about to thank. Possibly we will stop again on the way back Sunday.
Seven hours later we rolled into Las Vegas. If you have never been, it is wall to wall advertisements with hotels and casinos everywhere. Quote spectacular and with every entertainer you can imagine performing somewhere. Even the long in the tooth acts are all here. The Hannity Freedom concert you may have heard about, but its a fundraiser to raise money for the families of Fallen Heroes, primarily for college scholarships. This foundation was started by Ollie North. Its a wonderful event and there were thousands there. I had scheduled myself to attend this event back when I first put my itinerary together and I had hoped for some kind of stage time. But you know that is all wishful thinking. I have been trying to reach Sean Hannity for quote some time with this message but with no luck. Not any acknowledgment whatsoever.
I did find out that tickets were available for Gold Star families and that there was one left for me. Later, another was acquired for Patty. When we arrived we were able attend the VIP room and get some food and speak to other families there. I had a quick picture with Col North but no conversation. later Hannity came in but wasn’t able to speak with him either. Believe it or not I do still have some shyness in me. Jen the coordinator there did do one thing, she took a few of us to a private meeting with Michael W. Smith. Well known music artist. i was able to share briefly the message of the flag and he was very interested. I gave him an Honor and remember bracelet and he actually wore it on stage. I will have photos posted in the album gallery.
The concert was truly amazing as many acts performed, beginning with the Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Comedian Terry Fator, Michael W. Smith and then lynyrd Skynyrd. It was a great night of entertainment. Part way through the evening our friends the Larsens and another Gold Star couple were led onstage and acknowledged for their sons sacrifice. It was wonderful to see them given tribute. When Sean asked Ballard to say a few words. He said we came here with George Lutz a man traveling around the country to establish a remembrance flag. Sean asked when was I coming through and he said I am here now. Sean asked for the house lights and said George where are you. I stood up and shouted “here Sean”, the audience applauded and that was my one brief moment. I am hoping this will be yet one more reminder to them that we are out there working on getting public awareness of military sacrifice. Its a start.
Our son Kenny is driving in from Los Angeles at 4am, so excited to spend time with him tomorrow. Patty flies back home on Sunday morning, its been great to have three weeks of her summer. I will be back on the road Monday on my own.
Tomorrow: Not a whole lot but gawking at the glitz, enjoying my son.