Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great Story

Cory Publishing, but TommyLasorda writing.....

Day 2: Chairman's USO Spring Tour
from Tommy Lasorda's World by tommyblog

Being on this USO tour I am really adding miles. From Shannon, Ireland we went to Cairo, Eypt. We toured the pyramids and met with thousands of troops. I have been to the Air Force Academy nine times to deliver motivational addresses to the cadets. The most memorable one came many years ago when my wife and I were to be escorted around the base by a young lieutenant named Bob Wright.

Through conversation with Lt. Wright he told me that he came to the academy wanting to be a pilot but that he could never fly. He was a pitcher on the baseball team and got hit in the head with a line drive. The doctor who examined him told him that he could never fly.

"What was the name of that doctor, Lieutenant," I asked. "Was it God?"
"Because the only person who can tell you that you can't fly is God and don't you forget it."
After my commencement to the cadets Lt. Wright was taking my wife and I to the general's quarters.
He told me he was going to fly.
"Wait a minute lieutenant," I said. "A minute ago you told me you were never going to fly. What changed your mind?
He told me that two things that my father told me that I said in my speech really affected him.
The first was, "Because God delays, God doesn't deny."
The second was, "In every man's life the time will come when one door closes. And if you are so concerned with the door that has closed you won't be able to see the door that has opened."

It was great to know that they were listening and maybe something I said would help them in life.

Well two years later I received a letter in the mail from Lt. Wright with a picture of him standing in front of his jet getting ready to go into battle during Desert Storm. And on the bottom of the picture he wrote, "Because God delayed, God didn't deny."

Then you may remember Officer O'Grady who was shot down in battle. Colonel Litweiler sent me the transcripts from O'Grady to the pilot rescuing him from the ground. It was Captain Bob Wright. Then General Kelly asked me to speak at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

When I got off the plane I couldn't see much because of the glare from the sun. But I saw someone running towards me, and when I got to him he hugged me like I was his long-lost father. It was Colonel Bob Wright. He was the youngest colonel in the Air Force. He told me that if it weren't for me none of this would have happened.

"Don't you ever say that to me again, Colonel," I barked. "It's because of you that it happened. When you didn't believe you could fly you weren't doing anything, but the moment you believed you could fly you went on to become a war hero."

A few years ago he asked me to speak at the National War College, something I was happy to do. He is a good friend, and a great patriot who has served his country well for many years.
On this USO tour I am meeting many servicemen just like Colonel Bob Wright, people who love the United States of America and show their love through sacrifice and bravery. I love talking to the troops and telling them how much they are loved and how proud I am of their service.

They are prepared to do whatever is asked of them, at a moment's notice. They are the greatest military in the world, they wear the uniform of the greatest country in the world, and they do so to the highest degree of class, dignity and character.

1 comment:

- Sarah :-) said...

That is a great story, Cor. Thanks for posting...


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