(This episode was recorded live at Black Rifle Coffee Company Niceville - full video on Spotify or Youtube. Special guest host: SSgt Mike Rosa)
"My name is Airman Kwasi Smiley and I grew up In Hamilton Ohio. My career is in the Air Force but I’m most passionate about Space and understanding the Universe. My short term goal is to start school and my long term goal is to be the best dad I can be. What I’m most thankful for right now in life is my family and when all is said and done, I’d like to remembered for just being "me" - being myself."
Kwasi and his family were on their very first PCS across the U.S. as a family. Trucks were loaded and babies were crying yet they were having a good time and excited about their move from New Mexico to Florida. Half way through the trip a group of professional criminals hot-wired their vehicle attached to their U-Haul, and stole all of their belongings. Personal documents, heirlooms, furniture, pictures, electronics...gone in the blink of an eye.
His supervision acted fast and created a go-fund-me for $10K. After friends and family desperately tried to spread their story around - Eventually this news hit the infamous AMN/NCO/SNCO Facebook page and his story went viral. Organizations like the Eglin First Sergeant Council, EveryWarrior.org, and Black Rifle Coffee Company (Niceville) chipped in and his family walked away with $15K. Although this doesn't replace everything - the love and support from the Veteran community was felt by the Smileys and it helped tremendously. It's what being a "Veteran" is all about.
0:00 - Intro
4:45 - First PCS
5:00 - Entire U-Haul disappeared
5:48 - He noticed U-Haul gone
8:27 - Camera shows truck circling parking lot; truck blocked camera; one guy jumps out breaks the window climbed in and drives off
12:10 - Hopeful just electronics taken but everything taken
13:15 - truck not found
17:35 - People rally around him willing to help
18:57- Set up a Go Fund Me
22:25 - over abundance of support
23:54 - Tens of thousands trying to help.
24:30 - Feel guilty
25:19 - Pay it forward
31:07 - Restored faith