I performed at my first Bike Rally this past weekend - and it was fantastic! It was a benefit for Veterans, and the compassion of the bikers was overwhelming. They gave soooooo much! Since the VA takes good care of me, I always give back - both publicly (like these events) and behind the scenes. Man, I won't go into details, but I sometimes feel I'm supporting three families.
There are a few families at this hotel who's rooms are being paid for by a local church. These folks have kids, and it's not in me to look the other way. But that's all I'll say. My private efforts will remain private.
Now for the embarrassing and humbling part. Most folks know my back-story. I live with it. But this was the first time my story was shared, and I didn't know what to do!
When my set was finished, the MC said "Give it up for Billy Kay!" yadayadayada. Then he said (the audience was all biker Vets) Billy is also a Vet! (lots of applause). Then he said "But Billy is a special kinda' Vet - he's a Homeless Vet!" And then starting telling the folks some of my stories about the Shelter.
People started wadding up bills and throwing money at me! Literally throwing money on the stage! I took the mic and explained I'm fine. The VA takes excellent care of me. I'm not broke. Hec! I stay at motels where people change my linen every day and includes a free breakfast buffet!
Fell on deaf ears! They gave me a super secret "Fred Flinstone Water Buffalo"-type cheer and threw more money.
Of course I left the money on the stage and told them to donate it to the cause, and then when I got off the stage, at least a dozen people offered me housing - including one woman who has a small house on a lake! In hindsight, I shoulda' jumped on the lake house - LOLOL
These were total strangers to me! I was humbled. Honored. Embarrassed. The people of Tennessee and Mississippi are a great breed!!
On August the 2nd, members of TN 18-6 Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Memphis Tennessee Chapter 18-6 provided an Escort of CITIZEN SOLDIER VII to Buschwackers Baldwyn, MS. Members of the Southern Wanderers and Iron Warriors linked up for the ride into Baldwyn. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/522406517891949/
All My Best,