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"Protect Your Dreams"

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018





“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something… Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People who can’t do something themselves want to tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something… Go get it. Period!"

--Chris Gardner in “Pursuit of Happiness” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEGSiX0JA-s&feature=related


So, do you have a dream? Have you even thought of your dreams lately? It took me 5 years after leaving the Army in 2002 to start believing in a dream again. In 2007, I took my first step in fulfilling a dream of being there for my fellow service members still “fighting the good fight.” The step was small, but bold: Without telling many people, I began training for a marathon. Being as big as I was (275 lbs at the time) and having had 3 knee surgeries, it sounded absolutely nuts!! Nevertheless, my hope was that someday I could raise awareness for my fellow service members who desperately needed help as they transitioned out of the military.

Since then, I’ve taken slow but significant steps toward fulfilling that dream. It has not been easy at all. Between having my family at the center of my life, then work, school, and finally training, the idea of launching a website and sending out motivational emails seemed unachievable. Here’s what I am doing to find a way: I have been asking God for clues on how to blend it all together.

Below is a recent reflection I wrote about Freedom’s Light. With such limited time to work on everything going on in my life, my goal was to identify what truly mattered and reduce/eliminate the rest. This reflection restored my sense of passion for program. Why? Because I now know that when I have to “put a little extra” into completing a task, I feel a step closer to achieving a higher purpose.

My Hope:

I believe there are a large number of Americans who are openly patriotic, care deeply about their country, and want to help veterans, first responders, and children in their time of need. The challenge sometimes could be that there may not be a clear way for how to provide that support. My hope is that Freedom’s Light is seen as a place where people can go to and feel that they can express their support through the most respected and trusted charities out there.

At the individual level, we are all going through some very tough times. I also hope to inspire people to regain their sense of innocence, curiosity, and compassion in order to live more fulfilling lives. I think those 3 elements are essential for us being the most respected and admired country on the planet. These may not be the only factors that make our country great; however, I believe that if we lose these values, then we lose our identity as Americans.

My Dream:

I imagine myself volunteering my time to writing reflections and leading a team of runners (perhaps former service members, police, firefighters, medical personnel, or anyone for that matter) to help spread the word about the tremendous work that these charities are doing. Also, something feels right to me about creating a support network between service members who need help transitioning out of the military and those who already have. So many of our combat veterans end up becoming homeless within 2 years of departing the service. I need to reflect more about how I can help with this in the future. Starting Freedom’s Light just seems like the next logical step for now.

My Focus:

“Physically Fit – Mentally Tough – Morally Straight!” I will continue to focus on this phrase to see a path forward when all becomes foggy. I’ve learned over the years that the details of what to do next just seem to work themselves out when I rely on these 3 principles to guide me.

So going back to the original question, have you thought about your dreams lately? If not, I recommend starting now. If it seems a bit hard, just don’t give up. As you can read, I am in constant conversation with God trying to find out what my dreams actually are and how to get there.

To close, I’ve learned that fulfilling one’s dreams cannot be achieved solely by work done through the “gray matter” between our ears. It instead requires that we throw everything we have at it, every single day. Speaking only for myself, I’ve also learned that I am at my very best when my heart, my head, and my habits are aligned with all that is good around me. I can’t explain why. It’s just one of those natural laws that I’ve found to be true.

Thoughts? Send me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Look forward to writing the next entry…






About the Freedom’s Light Newsletter

The Freedom’s Light Newsletter comes to a reader at no expense. Feel free to forward to others who would appreciate a bit of inspiration. All that we ask is that you consider stopping by our site at www.freedomslight.org to leave a small donation to any of our 4 charities listed.


The Freedom’s Light site also has free features to include motivational video clips, past journal entries, and the ability to leave a heartfelt message at our “Dedication Wall.” You can also sign up for future newsletters on the home page in the “Join Our Newsletter” section. The intent is to allow anyone to use the site to express their support for America’s best in their time of need.


All organizations associated with the site are 501(c) charities. All donations are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. Every penny an individual donates through the Freedom’s Light website goes directly to the organization.


Interested in displaying a business/organizational logo on the newsletter and site? Have other questions? Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .