What better way to launch our Blog than by highlighting a veteran who exemplifies every aspect and core value that plays into our mission to Build Stronger Veterans, Thriving Communities, and An Enduring Legacy of Service?
Our mission will always only be as strong as the people and mission-driven entities that make up our social fabric, so we are honored to introduce you to the fiercest fighter I know, and someone I've had the privilege of serving alongside: David DuBois, US Army (Retired)
David is a servant leader. A patriot. An advocate. A builder. A husband. A father. A friend.
And even though he declined the invitation to move to Baltimore, he is the textbook embodiment of the Reveille Grounds mission.
David served with the Army Military Police Corps from 1987-2008. After his retirement, he continued as a civilian within the same field and sought new ways to lead and serve on the home front:
Almost 5 years ago, he began to lead Service Platoon Operations in DC for The Mission Continues.
3 years ago, during COVID, he formally became one of the Platoon Leaders I managed in my role on staff with TMC. It was a privilege to watch him relentlessly engage his people and partners remotely. He knew how vital connection and purpose was - especially in light of the world trying to end - so he hosted Zoom socials where everyone was encouraged to have their hands in the dirt. He even mailed supplies and instructions for volunteers to start vegetable and herbs from seeds at home. Those seeds became seedlings that he then drove all over the region for "Porch Pick-Ups" to ensure that those plants were delivered to community partners and neighbors that he knew would benefit. He safely kept serving and hardly missed a beat.
2 years ago he was working hard to physically bring his Platoon back together within safe COVID guidelines. Because that wasn't enough for someone whose day-job required constant mission-readiness during a Global Pandemic... he also began to design, fund, and build gardens for other local veterans. He had such success that he started exploring how to expand this passion project into "Victory Gardens for Vets."
Just over 1 year ago, he was diagnosed with ALS. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014? Still a thing.
1 year ago from yesteday, David had a bucket of ice dumped on his head to raise awareness and funds for the local chapter of the ALS Association.
Over the last year, though, this powerhouse veteran has already lost most of his ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe.
YESTERDAY, David was honored as this year's Chapter "Soakee" for the region's 2023 CEO Soak. Because he is now wheelchair bound and requiring significant assistance, David's oldest daughter sat in for her dad and was SOAKED to help raise awareness about what will - hopefully soon be - a LIVABLE disease before it becomes a curable one.
Bottom line: David is most deserving of every accolade, honor, celebration, and spotlight he has received in his life because he lives his life with PURPOSE and intention. He's found a new mission to build awareness of the deadly disease that will eventually claim his life. He may not benefit in this life from the work he's doing now and the money he's raising, but every 90 minutes someone else is diagnosed with ALS and another person is loses a loved one to this deadly, incurable disease. He's giving the gift of life and information to those that struggle to obtain a diagnosis and have to hear that they may only have 2-5 years to live once they do.
David also wants you to know veterans are MORE THAN 2x likely to contract ALS than their civilian counterparts. He hopes you'll never need to reference his story and lessons learned, but if you do... You should start here: The 6 P's & Advocating for Your Life
Even though he was Army Military Police and packs a lot of snark and confidence, he's still one of the most humble and community-minded men I know. So when he tells you that "one person learning one thing about ALS" makes writing blogs with only the use of his eyes and assistive technology is worth it, you squash that statement. You tell him that we know that adds value and speaks for others Every. Single. Day. And while there is probably no way to truly map the impact of the DuBois family over the years, we see them. We're grateful. Mustering the energy to keep his blog going is merely his CURRENT Act of Service, but we have decades of David DuBois, Laura, his kids, and chosen family to draw on, and his legacy of service will live on. We'll make sure of it.
So, will you help us ensure that David - and his family - know that we've *Got Their 6?*
Here are my asks on behalf of someone who has given so much:
Help David reach his goal for yesterday's CEO Soak by donating an amount that is meaningful to you at https://bit.ly/MissionDuBois.
Consider noting "Reveille Grounds" in the "Company" field before you click submit and/or leave a note sending love from his Reveille Family in Baltimore to David and his family.
Subscribe to David's blog! I learn something new about ALS, David's journey, and his heart for others every single week. Also, he no longer has the use of his hands. Assistive technology allows him to have his voice, but please help me appreciate every ounce of effort he gives at 5-10 words per minute by helping him expand his audience!
Whether you know David personally or agree that he must be a hell of a guy, leave some encouragement for him here: David's LIVING Wall
Sometime over the weekend, do something for someone else. Take a page out of David's book. Be humble. Add value. Do for others. And then CONTINUE to live your life like its the most precious thing you have to offer.
David, Laura, and family - thanks for sharing your journey with us, and thanks for living so well for others while navigating your own impossible Hard. YOUR story - at every Chapter - is a part of Reveille's story, because you've chosen to
- Katie Kilby: Former TMC City Impact Manager & Forever Fan of David DuBois