If you have a moment or you’re still looking for something to do Monday drop by Rogue and grab a drink at the bar. My good friend Ben Price, a veteran, will be working ALL day and donating all his wages and half his tips to the Wounded Warrior Project (Provides services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life). Rogue will be matching what he donates as well as one other business. For those of you that can’t count that means whatever he raises will be tripled.
A little about the event:
When did this idea come about?
I was thinking about Memorial Day and wondering “what can I do this Memorial Day that would be a good thing?” We [veterans] go to cemeteries, a lot of other people go to malls. I wanted to give people a reason to have a nice fun time.
Why the Wounded Warrior Project?
A lot of guys went from deploying two and three times and being told they’re the greatest thing America has to offer to guess what schlep? You’re not getting a job. Wounded Warrior project helps get them out, doing things and being active. It’s important that you pick a charity that’s actually productive with the money that you’re going to give them. They do things like take disabled guys to snowshoe around Crater Lake. They help vets regain their confidence and show them they still have something in the world.
How long will you be there Monday?
All day. You won’t miss me. You don’t need to break your Memorial Day plans. Show up and I’ll make sure it’s fun. It’s good beer and a lot of good food. It’s all you really need in life.
Let’s talk money:
On a Monday I’m lucky to make $80. But this time I’ve already got a couple hundred in checks. As it stands it looks like I’ll donate $6,000 or better.
A little about Ben:
Ben was deployed for a total of 31 months between 2004 and 2008. He did two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. For two of his tours he served as an US Army infantryman in the LRSD unit where he closely observed enemies. During his last tour he served as a general infantryman. He both killed and saw people killed. The death that shook Ben the most was John’s. He saw on CNN “A soldier was killed in Northern Kandahar.” That was where Ben was. Over an unsecured line he couldn’t be told details. Later in the day it came out that the soldier killed was John Morton. He found out through word of mouth while sitting in an airport terminal. “I expected a lot of names but I was never so surprised. He was a smart guy. He was about to go home. His kid had been born in October. Of everyone to pick, that guy died? He was the best man that I know that died. Period.” Being on the killing end he says is different for everyone but “I never had to wonder if I killed some kid. I never had to wonder if that was a woman. I had the luxury of certainty that everyone I put in the ground is exactly where they ought to be.” He came back to continue studying economics as the economy fell apart in 2008 and graduated in 2011. Currently he’s bartending while looking for a more permanent economics-related job.
Monday, he’ll be raising funds for a charity that he says really helps veterans. You can help by eating, drinking or just plain dropping a check off. He says, “You’ll be paying to help vets reestablish themselves in society after serving in wars. It will legitimately empower veterans and that could lead to some good things.”
Brett Joyce President of Rogue Ales is happy to support Ben’s efforts. “Ben is a great Rogue, when he brought the idea to us it was a no brainer. We have always supported the Military, having made many custom bottles for returning Oregon National Guard units. We are excited that we have a chance to support Ben and the Wounded Warrior cause.”