So this is just a small story that was recently done about the show that i currently run. Remember I started this podcast mission when a distant cousin told me that because of the possible Government shutdown her and her boyfriend was in need and was looking for assistants. There are more nonprofits out there beside 1 or 2, there are thousands . With the help of my investigators Michael Johnson, Sara Johnson, and our lead Kristine white. We are bringing Programs awareness to our vets and peace of mind to the community so they know that the nonprofits we endorse truly checks out. We investigate every nonprofit down to the bone of there tax form 990 research reviews and study sites like https://www.charitynavigator.org. Our podcast is now on and when we move well keep you updated. Please subscribe and give us a review. Here is our website HERE!
Currently right now i am attending the school Colorado Media School. Im learning alot. I feel since im in the public eye now that I’ve been on a big stage. Its my job to maximize what I’ve been doing the last 5 years. Coordinating Buddy Bowls “Charity for Football” I got overwhelmed. So now I’m using radio as my method. What better way to force nonprofits to do the right things by weeding out the bad from the good. We investigate each one for 3 weeks before we give them an invitation. Then we promote them for the Soldier for help. Promote the nonprofit for funds and for people to see they take in less donations for admin cost then they disperse to the Veteran. Yes we have sent some invites to some nonprofits and been turned down, very few , because we feel that were just not that well known like some other shows. If we get to that point and we endorse you on our site. Then I guess they’ll regret it. BEWARE just because you think they are good you would be surprised. (Charity Navigator) is great, but we spend longer on their tax form (990). Since i started this I’ve been very shocked at the results that Brandy Jones has reported. You don’t want to miss the show. I might not have a radio voice, because of my Traumatic Brain injury. My heart and vision is in the right place. So if you get an invite as a NONPROFIT(Congratulations) your doing the right thing. If you don’t FIX YOURSELF our site will expose you.
On June 13th i was scheduled to do Ride the Rockies during my training i pulled my sciatic nerve. Mike, who is an amazing welder adaptedmy bike to my needs. I will continue training and do challenged when possible. It is my goal to do as many miles as i can. Before my injurie i accomplished 84 miles. I continue still doing my podcast. A podcast that was just a hobbie at first but now its starting to be a passion. I am able to help veterans realize all the programs that are out there beyond the VA. Now i get ready to do the Freedom Ride being sponsored by my cycle family Brotherhood of Veterans June 13 benefiting FSD from where Barrett was trained
So these shirts come out in June the is the rought draft of my new brand. On the back of the shirts it will have my quote that helped me thru life. It is my goal and hope that my podcast and my shirts help another person challenge themselves.
So besides doing the biking, the guitar, and the Podcast i have been busy. In fact i wont be home much in the next 2 months. I didn’t plan this out to be like this. I guess it just happened but with my metal issues i have to stay busy in fact I leave March 4th to head to Indiana for speaking event to demo my service dogs abilities and to motivate others to reach out and challenged they’re selves. So I am very sorry I have not kept everyone update 24/7 I have definitely been dealing with my own Demos. Great news is that our Podcast is not only getting better but im meeting new people and im learning. By the way the pic is a spoof for our podcast.
So as months have passed ive committed myself to be a Ambassador for Chrysler. This doesn’t take to much work .I pretty much just show up and speak about driving forward due to a disability just like their cor values they’re trying to enforce. I have many speaking engagements coming up soon that i get to spreak with the kids and educate them. At this time i would be skiing in Oregon so by not doing this it feels weird. I’m not on a schedule and its very easy just to let myself go. Since i have TBI i am more reluctant to just stay in bed but just like skiing days. I have to motivate myself to get up. If its not Golf or bicycling with Barrett then its cleaning or doing things around the house. When i got back from Russia i started dipping once again due to stress and now once again i stopped on July 8 2014 for once and for all i hope. Its not even ski season yet and i never knew how much i would miss it. Not only the group of friends i was working with but also my passion for skiing. This winter i will do Nastar and I’m sure ill ski for fun. But like Manning said with football you can always coach be a reporter or a spectator but only a player can be in a huddle and the same goes for a skier in the starting gate.
So I’m back from Russia, and the wishing I could be 2 places at once has started. There’s a number of people that were a huge part of this success and I want to make an appearance to all there events but I have to think of my family as well. I didn’t receive a medal but out of 50 racers that were standup I placed 24th which I think that’s great because of the pressure and the course conditions . To recap my first run was going well and before I could finish I was yellow flagged because the racer ahead of me wasn’t off course due to communication issues within Russians race crew when I was flagged I was going pretty fast and I stopped as I stopped I heard my back pop and was going thru some serious pain. When I came back around I wanted to hurry and get it over with due to the snow didn’t want it to get any softer which have to admit the race course was really in good shape due to the chemicals and being so warm out, and the pain I was dealing with wasn’t helping me as well. So when I came down I didn’t talk to any media I went straight to the trainers so they could work on me to get back into the fight. My second run was my best. I went from 31 to 24th place and when I crossed the finish line I was overwhelmed with the cheering from the crowd and my flag was waving. The closing and opening ceremonies was overwhelming with happy tears. I knew my mom was watching and I knew no matter what that this story I was living would end incredible cuase gods going to use this story to inspire others. Im sure that after buddy bowl the excitement will fall inbetween the seats sooner or later but if my story helps to either inspire others or helps other troops get where they need to be in life well then his will is done.
When I left to go meet the president what an experience. I really wanted to tell him my story so he knew that the VA grant that was given to the club it transformed my life. But I didn’t I froze I couldn’t utter a sound out I was amazed the feeling I had when he hand shook me and gave me the presidential coin but its not over yet. tonight I leave for my welcome home party FINALLY I arrive in Kokomo and I see all my friends I see fans I never knew I had and I see people I never imagined they would be there. I mean cool kids when I was in school cuase I was never a cool kid and they were there to see me. And I was schocked they wanted an autograph from me. It was a unforgettable night expesscially when the Mayor of Kokomo proclaimed it would be Joel Hunt Day. This really just overtook me to the point where I wanted to cry. I didn’t do any of this to get this. I did it to help other troops and im recieveing the Karma not what I meant for. Well in closing I will always be hunting for gold if its going down a mountain or winning that medal in golf bringing gold to troops for Buddy Bowl… I want them to feel how I did. The feeling is undescrible…Keep Following me im not done yet!!!!!
So this will be my last blog before Russia. As i sit here typing this im going over the packing list double checking meds storage waxing skis getting financials in order you think it im doing it Before my send off this Fri and departing to Germany Sun. At the first of the season I was asked about if i didn’t make Russia would it be a failure, i believe i spoke of this with you before. And very confident i told reporter there’s no room for failure ill make it. So here i am a vessel that God is using to not only spread his word but create a spotlight for vets, TBI and most important a role model for the average Joe like myself. In all seriousness i have no clue if ill podium lets be honest but what i do know is i have little kids and fans and family that are rooting and cheering me on cause, what i stand for. I have no clue how this will end only god does. But i do know for sure i have taught people not to overlook others cause people can surprise you and change. Anyone can do what they set there mind too do. Wont be easy but it can be done. I saw a post a friend did today on Facebook and it said wow Satan is really taking it to you when your have a bad time cause Christ and him are battling cause he has a path for you that is bigger then you can imagine. So what is the happy ending. Myself im waiting for the answer as well. So far this whole story it seems unreal to me i cant even believe as i sit back and see where i started. Its not really about winning gold cause i feel that ive already accomplished that with my friends and family and especially my wife. No i feel the pic is bigger than that. I feel The happy ending was being able to help people with my success my story because i truly believe, if in your life your not changing lives. Well your not really living. Its not about Gold Its about Inspirations and that my friends is the real Happy ending.
As I ride up the lift for my next training run I sit there talking to the stranger beside me talking about my dreams about my goals. For the last 4 years I keep on my narrow path hoping I’m selected. I get a call from one of my good friends from Operation Rebound CAF the manager of Buddy Bowl Nico Marcolongo. He yells you’re going to Russia. As I sit there trying not to cry I think to myself this can’t be happening. A little voice in my head says, until I see it in black and white not going to get my hopes up. As I ski down to the starting line after being congratulated by the stranger I just go about my business. Then Kevin Jardine the director of the Paralympics says to me “What are your plans for March” I said “nothing right now.” He says well pack up your things you’re going to Russia. Trying to hold the tears back I couldn’t, I start balling out of control. I have teammate’s congratulating me and the coaches hugging me. I still can’t believe it.
See ever since football I don’t know why but I have never had confidence in myself. In fact when I got injured in 2012. I felt it was over, there was no way I was going to make Russia. In fact I was pondering if I was going to continue because racing takes a lot out of family life. My wife didn’t want to be one of those women that make me choose one or the other, but she was waiting patiently, she wants a family. We sacrificed a lot of time away from each other for the opportunity. If it wasn’t for my mentor Jon Lujan best friend I would have never continued. He told me after the accident that happened Jan 10 in NH he said “don’t worry, you’ll bounce back just keep believing.” But this was hard for me because again, no self-confidence. Yes I have strong inspirational story but that doesn’t mean I believe in myself. And to be honest the Paralympics was a goal it wasn’t a Russia or bust.
After my mom past away, finding that when she died she had saved money up so her and my father could watch me race in Russia. Did you hear that the thing I was doing for rehab, she was embracing the idea of Russia as realistic. Russia meant a lot to my mom this made me cry. So all last year I buckled down I wanted to go to Russia so my mom above could see me. So every race I took my anger out on the hill it was either DNF or go for the gold. I received a Bronze that was for my Mom at the end of season. I received silver for my Dad now I’m on the hunt for gold for my wife. I know the success I have in Russia will help with the success for the organization with buddy bowl.
I feel compelled to help other troops because my mom on her death bed was rolling out to watch the game because she liked watching those troops smile. She was my light. So now we’re here. I’ve been named to the team. So now I let go and let god take control. And now when I cross the finish line in Russia not only will I be helping TBI’s for the future and helping reach troops thru buddy bowl. I’ll be closing the fairy tale of Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do!!! And it’s just icing that I get to represent the USA in another way since I couldn’t go back and fight. All troops when there back they feel useless because they can’t deploy. This is the reason why after the accident I was so depressed and were not even discussing the feelings I had because I made it back and my friends didn’t. But I’m here, am I scared.. no, am I nervous.. no, do I feel pressure.. no, do I feel I’ll have success… yes. Why you ask. Because the lord doesn’t lead you to a path for you to fail so no matter what I’ve already won