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Jun-20-2010 23:16TweetFollow @OregonNews
Help a Dad and His Kids Find the American DreamTim King Salem-News.com
7000 miles, 6 games, 3 weeks, 2 kids and one car.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - A former U.S. Marine from Oregon and his two kids will set out on a most unique educational and reporting journey. Dave Ward of Portland, Oregon, wants to show his son the America we know in our heart, the one that has something to do with apple pie and baseball, and he could use a little help.
Dave has a reason for wanting to experience the nation with his kids; he has watched his life flash before his own eyes many times. Of all the Marines I have known, many injured in Vietnam and Iraq, I think Dave has had it the worst, and his challenges didn't evolve from combat, or the Marines at all for that matter.
Dave's story is an all-American tale.
He had acid reflex for years, but no insurance or easy access to medical care.
When he finally went to the doctor, he was told his throat was 'turning into' stomach tissue, too much acid reflex for too long. His body was ravaged, he was told he had a few months to live without a very serious medical procedure. He had the procedure because for the first time in a long time, he had medical coverage.
It all ended up costing a lot more than necessary.
He is a two million dollar man. The operations have involved harvesting muscles from his own body and having his throat recreated. They even relocated his collar bone.
It is an amazing story and today he is for the most part, a healthy man, though only a shadow of his former physical self.
This 9 year old wants to be a writer, and would like to interview the sportswriters that cover the teams. So far things are lining up, and we will carry some of these interviews on Salem-News.com.
Dave says his seven-year old daughter has her own hopeful plan of launching a blog to document the trip. Dave says that one remains up in the air, but he admires his daughter's enthusiasm.
The trip Dave will take with his kids is really tied to an even bigger part of the American Dream, and that is family. The centerpiece of the Ward family journey is a family reunion in the historic state of Pennsylvania.
The games Dave and his kids plan to attend are:
The theme for Dave's journey is:
When he started looking at the logistics of such a large undertaking, he contacted all the teams whose stadiums he was going to visit. His simple request was coupons or vouchers to help him on his way. The Rockies, Reds and Pirates sent him tickets, and the Cardinals sent him a "Kids Club" card that will get his children a backpack full of souvenirs at the game.
"The teams' response to my requests were so generous, it made me think I could actually pull this off." he said. "I even had a passenger in my taxi cab offer to use his frequent flyer points to get my family hotel rooms in the towns we will be visiting. A perfect stranger was willing to help me and my family on this great adventure. I feel truly blessed," Dave said.
Those who are looking for good national promotion can help make Dave's trip a little better. For a reasonable price, companies can have their message on Dave's car as it moves from one end of this country to the other, and back, and be seen by endless thousands of people.
Plus, Dave will be making a lot of publicity stops, so the exposure will be incredible.
It gets better: In addition to ad magnets on his car, a clean late model environmentally sensitive Subaru station wagon, photos with sponsor names will be taken at baseball games and published on Salem-News.com.
Dave is a man who served his nation, he is trying to accomplish a uniquely Oregon based project that will reach and affect many. Write to him at: email@example.com
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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