Last week we had the opportunity to perform on the Return With Honor float in the Veterans Day Parade in Phoenix. What an amazing honor and experience. CTS rocked the float with our original music but the most amazing part was having several American Heroes on our float. Medal Of Honor recipient Alfred Rascon and New York Firefighter 9/11 survivor Joe Torillo. Heroism beyond my imagination from people like these and that was the best memory of all was to meet these two gentlemen and get to listen to their stories as a part of our history.
I have always felt that giving was one of the coolest things you can do in life. If we all took a moment out of our busy days to do one kind thing for another person, one act of random kindness, think what a place the world would be. Giving doesn't have to be monetary but even an act of treating someone else the way we would like to be treated. What a concept that could make such a difference. Last December I had the privilege of performing for a National charity called Snowball Express. Every year over 1,800 widows, widowers and children who have lost a loved one while serving our Military, are brought to Dallas for a huge 4 day vacation paid for by people and corporations that give. They give so that these families who have lost so much can enjoy a brief moment of time to have a blast in Dallas doing all kinds of activities. For 4 days they are honored by many to pay tribute for the loss they have endured. This past year the event touched me so much that I decided to do something unselfish and try to make a difference in my own way. I took a song I had written for them over 3 years ago, aptly named, "Snowball Express" and rerecorded it with a full choir from Mountain View High school and a full orchestra. I decided to donate all money from the download of this song from Itunes to the Snowball charity. Together I thought we can all "Change the world, one download at a time". How fun it will hopefully be to make a difference and give back to some real American heroes. I feel we can all ask ourselves, "What can I do to make a difference?" If we all did the world would be a lot nicer place.
After our performance at Fort Hood, Texas in Killeen, I realized how important it is to have a part in inspiring our youth. The youth of America are our future and I'm sure at times to them, this world can appear pretty bleak.
On Sept 11th, 2010, CTS performed in front of hundreds of fans with over 90 High School Orchestra students from Harker Heights High. The "Freedom Rock Experience" is a show designed to honor the 'Real American Hero' including Veterans, Police, Firefighters and Teachers. During our performance I talk about the "American Dream" and how we are blessed enough to live in a country where we can become whatever we want to be with hard work. Our freedom is not free though and it is because of our Veterans why we can live the American Dream.
It was inspiring to me to hear over 90 High School students rocking to our music with violins, violas, cellos and basses. The sound was so overwhelming that there wasn't a dry eye in the house. What an honor to be an inspiration to students who got to be a part of this great event. It was heartwarming to talk to so many fabulous young people who had dreams and did believe in working hard to achieve their goals. Almost every one of the students had a parent in the Military.
From myself and the band CTS, we thank you Harker Heights High School for being a part of our show and being a part of what will be one of my most treasured memories.