Thursday, August 11, 2011

Salute to the US Special Operations troops killed Aug. 6 2011

I woke up Saturday morning figuring It would be a regular day and ready to start my weekend. I was going to knock out my morning 5 mile run and then work on my classic 1962 Lincoln Continental that I had just bought. As I checked up on current events online, I was startled to read that we'd lost some brothers-in-arms in Afghanistan in the pre-dawn hours that morning.

I was shocked and horrified... I felt a deep sorrow in my heart and immediately thought of their valiant and selfless service. I felt I couldn't go on with my day as planned, as if nothing had happened. My heart told me to go outside and wave my American flag. So I did. I walked to the nearest corner and just stood with my flag. I really didn't waive it, I just stood there. Initially I was extremely angry, angry that most passersby looked as if they had no idea why I stood there with my flag. One motorist even yelled, "What are you supposed to be", as if I was making some weird political statement. It was hot, my feet hurt and nobody seemed to care, but then I would remember that I was not there for me but for them. Occasionally a motorist would  ask what I was doing. I explained as quickly as I could before their light changed. Many had no idea and were saddened with the news.

The day went on, after many hours people started to approach in curiosity and after learning of the tragedy would offer to buy me water or chips.

One women in particular stopped and asked why I was there all alone, I answered "Because I didn't plan this, I just did it". I told her I was a  veteran and she hugged me. She went on to say how she was an immigrant to this country and how she loved this land. She had to leave but said she would return later with friends to stand vigil with me.

Within an hour or so I had a few of her friends standing with me, a while later some others came as well. It was amazing, by evening I had 20 or so people who I'd never met standing with me in solidarity. The media eventually showed up and interviewed me and it aired that night on local news. The lady returned with tears in her eyes and with even more friends. She turned out to be from Congressman Rohrabacher's office and had a large network of patriotic friends. We cheered and yelled in pride for our departed heroes. Many cars honked and a few even waived their flags, why they had flags readily available I didn't know, but they did. It was a fitting vigil for our Warriors and I'm sure they were looking down from heaven with appreciation.

It was not about me. It was about those brave Navy Seals and US Special Forces who gave their lives so that you and I could continue to go about our daily lives in peace and freedom.

Thank you brave Warriors for your freedom and sacrifice. Maybe most will forget but I will never forget the price you paid so I can live my life in freedom.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Thank You To A Vietnam Vet.

I ran three miles in the hot sun today at about 2:00 pm. As I sprinted the last 100 yards or so, I noticed a man sitting in a beat up Toyota pickup truck. He was wearing one of those blue ball caps that the old veterans from WW2 wear, it had the words "Vietnam Vet" embroidered in gold along with the medals he earned. As I passed the truck I said, "Thanks for going over there", he knew what I was thanking him for and replied "Orale", which in the latin culture has many meanings, all positive. As I continued to walk, I looked at him and I could see he didn't expect my comment but appreciated it because I was sincere.

As you go about your day today, remember those loved ones who were taken away from us so abruptly on 9/11. We don't get to see those smiling faces or hear those laughs anymore but they forever live in our souls where no one will ever snatch those precious memories away.

Thanks to the soldiers who willingly do what needs to be done in order that our way of life should continue. That our children grow up safe though some of those same soldiers currently risking their lives halfway around  world might never actually see their own children grow up.

Fly Your Flag Today in remembrance and appreciation.

Staff Sergeant Brito is a recruiter with the California Army National Guard. He is a veteran of thirteen years of both the US Army and the National Guard. He can be reached via email at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thanks for making my day, Laylani!

So I've been working long hours putting my website and this blog together to help get the National Guard message across. I was wondering if anyone else could find them in the mix of millions of other sites. Then I get the call that made my day, she introduced herself as Laylani (spelling?) and said it was her time to do this. She'd done her research and knew she was ready. I asked her how she found me and she said she watched my youtube vids and through them had found this blog.

It feels good when all your hard work pays off! I'll be posting more vids on youtube in the coming days.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I want you to buy this but you can't see or touch it.

I don't know what it is about sales and marketing. I just really find the challenge of going out there into the concrete jungle and finding different ways to get my message across exhilarating! Don't get me wrong, it's not just about "sales", sales in itself really sucks. Knowing you have a great product but having to wade through all those "NO's" to finally get to that eventual "YES" is enough to make you want to call in sick. I've been involved in sales for the last 20 years. I've sold cars, homes, memberships, phones, you name it and I probably sold it.

But this thing, the guard, is different for me. I wake up everyday grateful that I'm one of those few people who love their job. It's true, when you love what you do, it's not really work. And get this, I'm actually good at it. Not because I'm slick or have all the answers, because I don't. I'm good at it because I really believe in my product. I wholeheartedly believe what I have to "sell" matters. I have what most young people want these days, the ability to look that person in front of me in the eyes and just be real, be truthful. When you believe in what you're "selling" sales comes easy.

When I mention "sales" and "selling" I don't mean like how you get sold at a car lot. I mean sharing how the guard has changed my life for the better. How it has changed many of my kids' lives. I refer to the soldiers I've enlisted in the National Guard as my "kids". I've seen them come in all shapes, colors, races and  from different economic backgrounds. I've witnessed the great things these kids can do in military given the chance.

You never know who's going to be a good soldier and who's going to be a great soldier. I've had the opportunity and honor to see these kids return from Basic Training transformed into more confident, well rounded citizens capable of achieving any goal.

Yes, recruiting can be extremely difficult at times. I've had parents cuss me out for calling their home. Or there was the time I was helping a fellow recruiter at a local college and I had picketers yelling insults at me all day. Sometimes I don't get home until 10:00 pm or later only to be back up at 3:30 to repeat it all over again. I can usually count on 5 days off per month and sometimes not even that's for certain.

So why do I continue to come back for more? Simple. I've never been as good at anything else in my life as I am at recruiting and at the end of each day I know what I did counted. One day I'll sit on my porch an old man and be able to say what I did at this particular time in my life mattered, not just to me but to everyone of my "kids".

This is why I do what I do.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Here we go again!

Well, I'm about a month or so out from once again being part of  California's National Guard recruiting force. I've spent the last year or so on a deployment to Kosovo as a radio broadcaster. I 'd never have guessed that I'd actually be broadcasting to over a million people from five different stations. I had zero training in the broadcasting field but I landed the job and had tons of fun doing it. I met some truly amazing people while there, people that I'll remember for the rest of my life. This deployment changed me for the better. It once again showed me that anything is possible and how truly fortunate I am to call myself a soldier and member of the California National Guard.

I received a text from my soon to be boss, we'll call him Master Sergeant "B", saying to get my packet (application) prepared to submit. I know I'll be hired, I have recommendation letters from Master Sergeant B, my OIC and a Sergeant Major. I'm really not a cocky person, as a matter of fact I consider myself to be very modest (Really!). I just know they see how much heart and effort I pour into my job everyday. Did I say before I deployed to Kosovo I recruited with the guard for 5 years? Best 5 years of my life.