An incredibly humbling, awe-inspiring opportunity

Michael Bush

Michael Bush (IL '12) financial advisor, Northwest Mutual

Ignite Louisville 2012 November program day at Ft. Knox

Ignite Louisville has already proven to be a huge success for me, and we’re only a month into the program! On November 16 we had the chance to spend time at Fort Knox getting to know some of the members of our military and learning their leadership strategies. What an incredibly humbling, awe-inspiring opportunity!

Our group leader, Captain J.R. Fry, actually thanked US for our service and what we do for the community. He told us the reason he serves in the military is to give people like us the freedom to do what we do. Captain Fry recently worked two years at a base in the Northwest near Lewis, Washington, and he encountered war protestors and general hostility towards the soldiers. He had to remind himself every day has he passed them that what he is doing gives them the ability to express their feelings freely. All of this was coming from an Army Ranger—one of the toughest men on the planet—who has served two tours of duty in Iraq. We can all learn a lesson from his humility and selflessness.

I have to say, though, that one of the best parts of the day came when we went to the strategic weapons training area and got to shoot our own M-16 semiautomatic rifles! After learning the basics of how the gun operated, we practiced on some turkeys (picture Duck Hunt on Nintendo—no real ammo). It was painfully obvious I’m not a hunter when my teammate Josh hit 62 and all I could manage was 3. We then graduated to some sort of industrial war zone and had to fire at the enemy hiding in various positions. Finally, we were placed in real-life scenarios in which we had to determine who were the good guys and bad guys and if the bad guys were enough of a threat to shoot. Talk about intense! To imagine that our troops are put in those situations on a daily basis without the comfort of knowing it’s just a training exercise is overwhelming to say the least.

I can’t wait to see what the Ignite Louisville program brings us next!

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