By Tom O’Halloran
I turned 59 last month, and in my 59 years, I have had the opportunity to meet several Governors, Senators & Congressmen, movie & TV actors & rock band members. I can honestly say that I have never asked anyone for an autograph. I’ve bought books at book signings & when prompted for what to write, I declined.
I’ve always seen asking for an autograph as saying “I look up to you” in other words… I am below you… you are better than me. No thank you.This weekend, I was at the Conservative Leadership Conference, and was about to bug out out of the room before the last speaker (I thought it was a political candidate (and I NEEDED to meet my wife who was coming to the hotel to have dinner with me), when the doors opened to the right of the stage, a young man wheeled in missing both legs, and one arm (although he had a prosthetic left arm).
The young man, Bryan Anderson rolled up to the stage, grabbed it, flipped himself up, pulled his chair up after him, literally jumped with his arms & landed in his chair.
Over the next hour, Bryan told story after story about his youth, his decision to enlist & go to Iraq, what he saw and did while there, the IED that irreparably changed his life.
I have seen people that lost a dog, or a job, or wrecked a car that had worse attitudes than Bryan. (been guilty of some attitude my own self)…
No victim attitude with Bryan, he came to the decision early that he had 2 options, to roll over and die, or to move on…. and it really wasn’t even a choice for Bryan.
Over the years since, He has been on the cover of Esquire, in movies, he is a spokesperson for a mobility chair company, and happens to be a very entertaining public speaker.
Bryan is more active than most people I know, he climbs rock walls, Snow boards, rides a bicycle and a motorcycle!!!
Bryan has also written a book: No Turning Back, which I stopped to buy after leaving my wife stranded in the lobby for 45 minutes… yeah, I KNEW she might shoot me or divorce me, but there was NO WAY IN HELL that I was going to walk out on this hero.
I hustled out & was first in line to buy the book, and you are damned right…. I asked for his autograph. Who would have thunk, that the first man that I really look up to would stand some 3′ tall… Yes, I have finally met a man that I can honestly say “He is a bigger man than I.”
God love you Bryan, and thank you for sharing your story!!
If you would like to book this incredible young man as a speaker for your next convention or corporate event, please call Dick McLane (800) 800-8586 x1099 or email Dick McLane here if you book an event, Brian will give you a free autographed book. PLEASE let Dick McLane know that you heard about Bryan from my site!