Over the last few years I have been very fortunate to be able to tell audiences the story of Chance Phelps and our journey together. Chance was a 19 year-old Marine who was killed in Iraq while fighting to save his fellow Marines. As an active duty Marine officer, I had the deep honor of escorting Chance’s remains back home to his family in Wyoming. As strange as it might sound, during our journey together I developed a deep bond with Chance. I also observed the unforgettable kindness and profound decency of ordinary Americans all along our journey. These observations so moved me that I captured my thoughts and overpowering emotions in a journal which became the basis for the Emmy-nominated HBO movie “Taking Chance” starring Kevin Bacon.
In telling Chance’s story, I often find audience members feeling the same bond that moved me so deeply. It is a bond to a young Marine they never knew and it is usually accompanied by a renewed sense of optimism for our country. It is extremely gratifying to me – as I greet people after my presentation – to hear how Chance has also touched them and how, like me, they were so inspired to be reminded of all that is great about our nation.
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