I am working on putting together a writer (a veteran himself) and Benny Alicea (retired, Silver Star awardee). All this time, I figured it would be easy once I found a writer. I’m a bit naive and admit that. Everyone, besides myself has quite a bit on their plate.
I do hope this come to fruition and we can create a worthy book about this veteran’s wartime (Fallujah and Najaf) experiences, and readjustment issues when he came home to a different world.
Here’s a link to Sgt. Alicea’s story. He’s a close personal friend of the foundation and a poet.
Benny Alicea, Mike Hawley, and Pat Montes (left to right)
Pictured above is myself (Mike Hawley) and the two best friends I hold dearest. All of us are combat vets to varying degrees. 20 pounds ago, I didn’t fit into my old uniform-hence the suit.
Pat Montes (staff sergeant) is pictured to the right. This was taken on his wedding day. We were walking out to take pictures with his family and future bride. The wedding was held at the Saybrook Point Inn, in Old Saybrook, CT. Pat’s a veteran of two combat tours – Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve known him for 17 years. He’s soon becoming an officer in the CT National Guard.
I’m in the center. I’m the co-founder of the company. I wouldn’t have gotten this far had it not been for these two. They helped me realize I had some issues that needed dealing with.
Benny (left) and I met in basic training. He and I hit it off. It turns out he was stationed mere feet away from Pat Montes in Baghdad. He fought alongside the marines in Fallujah and eanred a silver star for bravery. Along with this prestigious medal, he has at least two purple hearts and other valorious medals.
I wanted to get some visuals up on this blog. It’s pretty bare right now. Also, I wanted to insert some humanity into issues of war. Benny and I are possibly developing some martial arts skills for professionals. He is also looking for someone to help collarborate on his memoirs. If there’s anyone who needs to write his experiences down, It’s Benny Alicea. If anyone can help, please let me know.