Our Fourth of July truly was special. Clarksville made sure that we had a wonderful time and we were thrilled to be able to meet the great people that we did as well as participate in all of their freedom festivities. We were able to see and do so much, but what really stood out to us were the people that we met.
We barbecued with Commanding General Campbell, met a few men from the 101st Airborne, rode motorcycles with the Bikers Who Care, met country crooner John Anderson, and mingled with the welcoming patrons of the city. While we met all of these fantastic people, there were two men that really stood out to us. One of them is Heath Calhoun and the other is Sam Corey. We feel that both of these men embody the definition of true patriotism.
Retired Staff Sergeant Heath Calhoun is a man of prestige. The first things we noticed while walking through his house were the sheer amount of awards and recognition that he’s received. Unbeknownst to us, we were only seeing a small fraction of what he’s earned. Not only is he a veteran of the Iraq war, but he’s an avid skier and his skill on the slopes has garnered a lot of attention (and trophies) over the years.
Within minutes of meeting Heath we immediately picked up on his endearing spirit and his zeal for life. He is an extremely humble and down to earth man. You wouldn’t know of the feats that he’s overcome unless you spotted some of the photos and newspaper clippings hidden among his walls. As he stood behind his kitchen counter, telling us his story of the attack, one wouldn’t even guess that he is a double-leg amputee.
In 2003, while riding in a convoy in Iraq, Heath’s Humvee was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. The explosion severely damaged his legs, requiring the amputation of both of his legs- right above the knee. During rehabilitation, Heath learned to walk on prosthetics. His walking eventually led to his running and soon he found himself on the ski slopes.
We can’t write enough about Heath Calhoun. When he’s not on the slopes, he works as a spokesperson for the Wounded Warriors Project and helps other families heal and overcome wounds received in battle. He truly is an inspiration for us all and we feel so blessed that he put aside some time for us on this fourth of July. Keep an eye out for him in our next few videos to see what his definition of patriotism is.
If there’s one word to describe retired 101st Command Sergeant Major Sam Corey it would be “dedicated“. The 79 year old Vietnam vet is passionate to the core about the U.S.A. and the values it embodies. Corey is famous throughout his neighborhood as the go-to man for holiday decorations. He makes a party out of most holidays by decking out his house in themed holiday decorations and the fourth of July is no exception.
While Christmas wreathes come and go, Sam’s patriotism lasts year round. He has a flagpole in the front of his house that proudly flies the American flag 365 days a year. Every time the flag is moved, Sam holds a special ceremony often enlisting the help of the local neighborhood children. We were delighted to see the child-comprised color guard file out in front of the flag and show true respect and honor to our nation’s symbol.
Sam is a mentor, often instilling the true meaning of patriotism to his young recruits. Again, we felt so honored that he took the time to show us this important ceremony. He even re-enacted it for us as he usually does it at 6:30 in the morning. We could go on and on about the wonderful time we had at the Corey residence.
We feel so privileged to be on this journey and we are eternally grateful for the amazing men and women that we’ve met along the way. We are excited to start working on a few videos to truly highlight the amazing feats that these two men have accomplished. We hope that everyone had a wonderful and blessed fourth of July.
Keep on Exploring,
Captain and Clark