I know many of you have been wanting a kindness item for a bit, so here you go. This one actually came via a reader who wishes to be anonymous, but is pretty famous for some of his comments.
In 2011, a young Marine was wounded in action fighting bravely in Afghanistan when an IED exploded directly beneath him. We’ll call him the Veteran Hero. Sadly, our Hero lost both of his legs, his right arm, and most of the use of his other arm in the line of duty. Undergoing grueling surgeries, the young Hero emerged alive – but depressed at being disabled for life while still in his 20s with little more than his military disability pay to live on – and few if any job prospects. Enter our CDAN “Reader”, and some of the “good guys” in the entertainment industry.
In 2003, our Reader felt patriotic and accepted an assignment with the government as a contractor to the Pentagon and intelligence community (to lend his creative skills to our country). It was during this time that the Reader reconnected with an A-list actor friend who was doing a USO tour in the desert with several other stars.
The A-List actor in question has been in some of the biggest movies ever and even does television and is very good at it. His name recognition is probably B+. He usually flies below the radar with his personal life.
The Actor and the Reader were talking one day in Iraq and the Actor was explaining this new charitable foundation he’d become a part of. The Actor teamed up his own private charity with a 9-11 survivor family foundation (named for a heroic firefighter who died on 9-11) and their goal is to help disabled vets return to the world. The Reader and Actor went their separate ways, but did keep in touch over the years.
When our veteran war Hero was released from Walter Reed hospital, he was confined to a wheelchair and carried massive shrapnel still in his body. The Hero was also suffering from severe depression, and had very little money to even refit his family’s house for disabled access. Our vet was born, raised, and graduated high school in a very small town. Our CDAN Reader grew up in the same community, and graduated from the same high school (although many years apart). The Reader had already lost one close Marine friend in Iraq, and had two family members still serving in Special Forces and Airborne units. When he heard about the hero’s plight from his own hometown, he knew what he wanted to do.
Our Reader got in touch with our A-list Actor and his charity foundation, and they brought in a gigantic sports company/sports venue into the mix. They all decided to help the disabled Hero, and help make his life better. They didn’t just throw some money his way or send him an autographed photo. They decide to buy some land locally, build him a brand new specially-crafted custom smart home, (completely built to accommodate his disabilities), and to allow him to never need another home for the rest of his life while being self-sufficient.
As if this wasn’t enough? Our Actor and the foundation decided to put on a concert to honor the veteran hero, with the Actor’s personal band playing the whole show. All proceeds (not just profits, but every penny) from the show goes to the vet Hero. Not a fund or charity, but directly to the Hero in an account to pay his power bills, taxes, and necessities for many, many years. The Actor and the foundation are paying the band, all costs, and travel out of their own pocket. The Actor is using his own private jet to transport the band, equipment, and people all from his own pocket. All this while keeping his commitments to other charity work, his acting jobs, and his family.
And this still wasn’t enough for our Actor to feel he’d done all he could do. The Actor enlisted the foundation to buy a set of special “smart” prosthetic limbs for the hero, and paid for them. This was a huge upgrade from the basic prosthetics the vet was using. The foundation even covered the cost of the transportation for the Hero and his family to travel to the hospital and back for appointments. The support, bright prospects, and hope was enough to lift the hero out of depression and darkness he’d been suffering.
To show their support, the biggest sports facility nearest to the Hero’s hometown named the veteran Hero and the Actor as their grand marshals for the next event, and the Hero was the star VIP for the whole weekend. The owner of the sports complex even escorted the Hero around to meet all the star athletes and the Hero got photos and phone numbers from all his favorites. He even got to bring his family with him and they were all treated like royalty. The sports facility owner personally oversaw all accommodations and travel for the vet and family all weekend. They even talked the sports stars into donating, and hosted an auction of sports memorabilia to add to the funds raised for the Hero.
The concert tickets for the actor’s band sold out in a few hours, including the expensive VIP packages where fans could chat and talk with the A-list Actor. The Actor said he’d stay and chat with fans until the sun rose so long as people got their money’s worth for donating to such a good cause. The concert was planned for a local high school in the city where the sports event was to take place that weekend.
Unfortunately, a scary accident occurred the week of the planned concert. Our A-list Actor was involved in an auto accident that kept him from making it down for the concert or the weekend’s big sporting event. The Actor was banged up, but would be okay. Sadly he couldn’t travel for several days, and it made him feel guilty. Many stars with a busy acting schedule and personal life would just cut a check or try and weasel out of his responsibilities with a five-minute videoconference. Not this one. Our Actor was so upset about disappointing our veteran Hero that he personally called him to explain.
The Reader then proposed a new date for the concert. The Reader called a concert promoter pal hosting a local music festival in May, and they worked out the details. The festival is an annual event for charity anyway, and other charities could also benefit from the Actor’s show at the festival. The Actor then rescheduled the concert for the festival near the Hero’s hometown, and personally paid the expenses already laid out. He offered to buy back tickets for anyone unable to attend, and then set up a special pre-show dinner date party for VIP ticket-holders and our Hero. The Actor then canceled two other (non-charity) concerts his band had scheduled, all just to honor his promises to our Hero, while allowing the festival to promote his appearance to help other charities.
As a result, the show will go on. The upcoming new concert date has sold out again, and our veteran Hero is even considering some small acting roles he’s been offered, all thanks to our Actor and Reader. Meanwhile, the special smart house has already been designed, the land purchased, and suppliers lined up to start building this start of the art dream house. Both our Actor and our Reader said their only big regret is that they cannot do it for every single veteran who has served our country so honorably. But with our Actor’s foundation and partners, they’ll continue to help those that they can one by one.
It just goes to prove that there are still some good guys left in Hollywood, and some guys who are not just hypocritical attention trolls only in it for themselves. Despite the setbacks, the concert-festival will launch into orbit soon, and our veteran Hero will have his new magic house very soon. He’s already got his new magic legs All because some people cared enough to use their fame, money, and power to help others instead of preach to them or hurt them.