You made this moment happen.

I’m hidden away in the background. I got pulled underwater after pushing him into the wave, and by the time I surfaced, he was already standing up.

He’d never surfed before. But he spent plenty of time defending my freedom to be in the water when he was in the water himself, launching F-18s off aircraft carriers.

He was part of a surf camp for veterans this past weekend, organized by Team RWB and the Marine I wrote about in For The Sender: Love Letters from Vietnam.

For The Sender was able to pay for both of their surf camps this summer through concert tickets and book sales, and morning was giving way to afternoon when they brought me in front of the veterans and volunteers, and thanked me for paying for the camp.

Everybody cheered and yelled and hooted, but they were really thanking YOU for coming to shows and buying books and supporting For The Sender.

You made this moment happen.

And you can do it again.

Our benefit show for these surf camps is coming up in November. We’re taking a year off from the Belly Up holiday show to do a stage adaptation of Love Letters from Vietnam at the Poway Center for Performing Arts. Proceeds from this show will pay for the Team RWB surf camps next year.

Click here to learn more.

Today we remember the loved ones we lost, the first-responders who gave their lives, and the sacrifices made by so many families and military personnel, in the wake of a day that changed the course of history.

We should never forget.

But we should also honor those still among us who have paid, sometimes dearly, for what we often think comes for free.

Being a catalyst for joy can be part of that honoring.

I know. I was a catalyst this weekend.

So were you.