I am a Colorado Media School graduate. Whats next? How will I survive? Everything I do now, will I question whether or not it was a good decision? Unfortunately no one really knows this but now is the time you have to motivate yourself and claw to the finish. Don’t wait for things to show up at your door be the person who is knocking and know every time you meet with someone assume the worst if that is what drives you. Employers want liability and willingness to learn. Don’t expect the opportunity to fall in your lap.
When I first got Barrett my service dog he was very obedient and I didn’t have to worry much about other dogs. But since there is such a gray area in the law, people have been taking advantage of this area. They have been posing their pet as a service dog to attain either airfare or hotel perks. This coming Friday, the law has changed here in Colorado. Now if your caught doing this its a heavy fine possibly jail time. Its very important that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to these aids .But since these pets are not service dogs they have been giving the situation a bad rep. Making noise in the area. eating food off the floor, and barking for no reason when an individual walks by causing a scene. These interruptions or scenes have been going on for awhile. Services dogs are not robots. Its a huge distraction to another dogs especially when another dog comes up to them. This has to stop because if it doesn’t then the pets will ruin the service dog and its purpose . Its being abused by others and we don’t want to talk those rights away from an Individual that needs them. So in closing is you see a dog that you feel or that you think is not a service dog due to their actions I wont say report it or call the police. I would use the scare tactic. Did you hear they passed a new law? Isn’t that great it protects you guys now.
When I was little my flag football team was called the Bengals, so I was a Bengals fan.
Growing up in a small Midwestern town, Kokomo Indiana, you were either playing sports or getting in trouble. Not much to do in a small town. I was either playing football, wrestling, running track or working. When I got into high school I started playing tackle football, the league was called the PAL league. My PAL team was the Cowboys. At this point I wasn’t much of a professional football fan. Since I was a highly motivated Northwestern Tiger fan, I really tried to into the Vikings. The team colors were the same as Northwestern, I tried but the like just wasn’t there. I tried to like the Bengals again, it just wasn’t there. I tried being a Colts fan, but that wasn’t happening either. I honestly don’t know if it was lack of success or lack of excitement.
One Christmas, before the Giants won their first Super Bowl, my brother gave me a Giants hat. He was such a Giants fan. I tried to follow his lead and become a Giants fan. That really didn’t work for me either. My parents were poor and couldn’t afford all the NFL gear.
One Monday night, while I was in high school, I watched the Cowboys just destroy the Giants. During that game Emmit Smith commented that when he was in high school, they said he was too small and would never amount to anything. At this point in my life I was a place kicker and everyone was bigger than me. This motivated me, he became my favorite player and I began to follow the Cowboys. At this point no one cared about the Colts. I remember going to our local Hardees, they were having meet and greets with Jeff George and Eric Dickerson and there was hardly anyone there. From 1995-2008 I was a huge Cowboys fan. When did I change my team loyalties and why? Here is how it came about.When I got back from Iraq I was granted a wish by Operation TBI Freedom. My wish was to see the dome before they tore it down. They contacted Jerry Jones for me and a few other soldiers and asked if we could be present for this history making event. Jerry Jones said all the tickets were sold out and there was no room on the field due to the teams sponsors. We were shot down. This really upset me. It wasn’t about the team as much as it was about the owner. It didn’t help that the first two years I was in Denver I was called a Cowgirl and I was getting heat from my brother the Giants fan.
The first year I started watching the Broncos I didn’t like them because I didn’t like Cutler. In 2008 some other soldiers and I saw Cutler out one day and asked him for an autograph. He attacked us verbally saying don’t touch me and you can pay for my autograph. At this point I hated the Broncos. Everyone around me was a Bronco fan. I told everyone around me I would change as soon as Cutler left. In 2009 the Bronco released Cutler and I started watching them again. Besides my in-laws were Broncos fans and so was my best friend Jon. I got a lot of Broncos stuff for Christmas.
In 2010 I became a Bronco fanatic. Not only was I invited to a training camp, but John Fox instructed all the players to come and sign footballs for us because they were lucky to have their freedom. This was the key thing that attracted me to the team, their appreciation for for my service when I certainly didn’t get that from the Cowboys.
I am proud and humbled being a Broncos fan. They have the most loyal fan base. We don’t care if they are getting their asses kicked by 55 points, we are still rooting for our boys. It’s tradition, it’s family.
I have become good friends with a lot of the players and I am the military coordinator the the Denver Broncos. Every August they allow me to bring a few soldiers. It’s not all about winning, or about Manning, it’s about respect. I learned the hard way, just because you are someones friend doesn’t mean you are theirs. It is the same with teams.
When I started Buddy Bowl in Indiana, I wrote to Irsay. To get them involved, maybe get some of the players out for the event. They brushed me off. To this day I hate the Colts.
Why do people like or dislike a team? There is always a personal reason, maybe that is the tradition you were brought up with.
In closing, the reason I have loved the Broncos is because they have loved me back. It is a great bonus that they have the greatest quarterback in the world who happened to leave a team that I despise to come to a team that appreciates him. Even if he doesn’t win a Super Bowl or even a play off game he has brought so much to Denver. Showing all what it means to never give up, to keep the faith, to believe. Don’t look at the scoreboard, just play well.
The Denver Broncos loved our military even when it wasn’t popular to love the military. That is why I love them.
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 stand up 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 the Russian 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. I didn’t want the snow to get any softer which I have to admit the race course was really in good shape due to the chemicals and being so warm out. The pain I was dealing with wasn’t helping me either. 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 were 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 because gods going to use this story to inspire others. I’m sure that after buddy bowl the excitement will fall in between 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 because I was never a cool kid and they were there to see me. And I was shocked they wanted an autograph from me. It was a unforgettable night especially 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 recognition. I did it to help other troops and I’m receiving 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 indescribable…Keep Following me I’m not done yet!!!!!
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 adapted my bike to my needs. I will continue training and do challenges when possible. It is my goal to do as many miles as I can. Before my injury I accomplished 84 miles. I still continue to do my podcast. A podcast that was just a hobby 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 am getting ready to do the Freedom Ride being sponsored by my cycle family Brotherhood of Veterans on June 13 which will be benefiting FSD from where Barrett was trained.