Set in London, England, this is the journey of a girl that no one wanted.
Ethel Mae’s mum emigrated from Jamaica to London and had only been there a few years when she was raped by a family member’s boyfriend. Instead of getting sympathy, she was cast away from her family and out of church for being pregnant and unmarried.
When Ethel Mae was born, she was cursed. Everyone wanted her to be born deformed or better still for them, dead. As a young girl, she faced constant physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse.
When she wasn’t being beaten senseless, she was being berated and vilified. She would be told things like, “Why can’t they come and take you away and kill you like they do to other people’s children?” or “I should have gone through with the abortion when Auntie Mildred was offering to pay for it.” Those cutting words reinforced and
confirmed that she was unwanted and unloved.
Get a painful glimpse at how abuse can devastate someone’s life and how hard it is to break the cycle as the author shares a courageous story of survival.
Yet, soon, his second nature could help others — and make history.
In just a few weeks, Mike hopes to break a world record for most pull-ups in 24 hours. His feat will support the Wounded Warrior Project, a project near to his heart.
Mike enlisted in the military and currently serves in the Navy, so he knows the true and lasting effects that the service can have on our troops.
Like many proud Americans, I commend Mike for his effort and his service.
After hearing more about his story online, I wanted to share a bit more about Mike and his goal of helping his fellow service men and women.
“Often times many of these inspiring individuals come home with wounds you can and sometimes can’t see like combat stress and depression,” Mike says. “Because they’ve risked everything for us, I’ve committed to raising awareness and funds for these wounded service members and their families.”
The Pull-Up Challenge
Starting at 6 a.m. on July 26, Mike will do as many pull-ups as he can for 24 hours straight. The event will be held at Fort Nugent Park in Oak Harbor, Washington.
He will begin performing pull-ups for 24 hours straight in an attempt to break the current world record. According to the Whidbey News-Times, that Guinness World Record is 4,030 set by Navy SEAL David Goggins.
In addition to Mike’s effort, there will also be a raffle, vendors, live music and activities to help raise awareness of WWP.
Mike has been training for this incredible feat, and has all the faith that his goal will foster awareness for the WWP.
How It Will Help
Mike has set a personal goal of raising $10,000 for the effort. All of the proceeds will go to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Dating back to 2003, the WWP assists disabled veterans and raises awareness for the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; gives financial aid and medical assistance to those service men and women; and helps provide unique programs and services to meet the needs of those people who’s lives are forever changed.
“I want it to inspire people,” he tells me in an online conversation. “I want to get the message out that no goal impossible of the purpose behind it is great enough and with perseverance and a little intestinal fortitude to see it through to the end. Never quit.”
Why We Should Give
I was talking about this with my dad the other day – about our troops and their incredible service. I shared with him my perspective, as a journalist, how honored I would be to go into a war zone. If I had the opportunity to go, I would take it – no questions asked.
For me, that interest is two-fold. My dad served in the Vietnam War. I know I’ll never be able to comprehend what my dad saw and experienced, but sometimes I can feel the toll on him and other service members. It’s written on their faces and expressed in their soft-spoken tone when they speak of their service.
On top of that, I feel like most Americans don’t get the true and real effects of the war. I talk about the war on the news, and we may read an update on efforts in the Iraq or the latest policy with Congress or the Obama administration. Those topics often get people heated up, but I feel we look at things outside of the important—what about the troops? What about those people who served? How are we protecting them like they protect us? Are we sharing their experience in the war zone? Can we do it? I’d love to be able to do that one day. Maybe with time that can happen.
There is so much sacrifice that our military men and women give. They fight for freedoms and beliefs for a country – even of people whom they don’t agree with.
That’s a true hero.
What I find incredible about Mike’s plan is to give our wounded heroes a second chance. On the news, we are privileged to share stories of people helping out a service member who may have lost limbs or are in need of some help. But, there are thousands more who are in need of help.
More than 47,000 servicemen and women have been injured in the recent military conflicts, according to the WWP.
From October 2011 to September 2012, the WWP collected $14.26 million in annual benefits claims for individual warriors. Of the 19 programs specifically made for these heroes, many focus on combat stress recovery, family support, independence and much more.
“It’s not about the record,” McCastle says. “It’s not about the war. It’s about the warrior. Twenty-four hours of discomfort does not compare to the sacrifice our wounded service members and their families make every day.”
How You Can Help
Mike has put together a couple of different campaigns to help boost the awareness of the Wounded Warrior Project. You can donate and catch-up with Mike through his special page over at the Wounded Warriors Project website.
Author’s Bio: This guest blog contribution was submitted by Annette Lawless. To support wounded service members and their families, it’s essential that you check out the Mike McCastle’s Twitter page and the Mike McCastle’s Facebook page right now.