Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Grassroots; Making A Difference.

I, like most of you, would rather be going along with life as usual, but have found that to be extremely difficult for the last twelve months. I have had to make a commitment, to either fight for our freedom, or keep going and ignore the truth about what is happening in our country today, wondering can I make a difference.

January, one year ago I did decide to commit to step up, and dedicate my free time to make a difference. Well, as it has turned out, it has taken way more than my free time. I will also say, I would have it no other way.

My journey began, trying to get educated on the task that would lie ahead. As someone, who really did not desire to read a lot, I found myself reading a lot. My first commitment to join others with a like minded spirit, that I felt I would fall in line with, were the patriots I met at the first 9.12 We Surround Them event at the Village Grill in Chester, VA. This is where I first met men like Ralph Carter, and his wife, Millette, and family. They have been an inspiration to us all. I also met Mike, Freddie, Marion, and Celeste, all of whom now are a huge part of the Chester Patriots, organized by Ralph. Carter. I began to immediately become involved in planning and activities this group had to offer. I was beginning to feel like I had made the right choice to "stand up for Freedom."

As time would go by, I attended rallies, like the April 15th Tax Day Tea Party in Richmond, VA, with an estimated 6000 citizens in attendance. On May 8th, had the privilege to lead a group of 30 citizens, concerned about their country, in delivering a "Petition for Redress of Grievances", to our local U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senators offices. Time went by, no response from any of our elected officials.

I've attended rallies on Health Care, Cap & Trade, Audit the Fed, and rally after rally. Even held my own one man rally one day at Sen. Mark Warner's office about the health care issues, and my friend Larry and I, on another occasion. Wondering all along, am I making a difference. I also got involved in the local GOP in Chesterfield, VA, wanting and searching for more education on all of this that I was giving so much of my time for. Got so involved that on Election Day 2009, I served as a Precinct Captain, and got to see and feel first hand the enthusiasm that seemed to be growing all through the year.

Back to the petition that my new friends and I delivered. Finally, after more than a month and a half had passed, I began to really feel that as a citizen, I was being ignored, and became increasingly aggravated at this fact. I wrote a letter to our U.S. House of Representative, J. Randy Forbes. This letter was professional, but not real nice, and I will leave it at that. Within thirty minutes, I received a phone call from his chief of staff, quite taken back at my response. As we talked, and began to iron out the frustration of the moment, we began the process to have the congressman come to Chesterfield for a Public Forum, in which it was an honor to moderate.
Again, another moment of education of the process that I had started out looking for back in January. Still wondering am I making a difference.

This past year I have been to Washington, DC on no less than five occasions for rallies. On July 4th, the March for Liberty Rally, September 12th at the 9.12 National Tea Party Rally, and on December 15th the Code Red Rally. On two occasions myself and others, delivered petitions, or tried to at least to our U. S. Senate offices, and were denied. Yes, temperature went up a bit. I had not been to Washington D. C. five times in the last thirty years. Still wondering am I making a difference.

As a common sense conservative, I consider myself a huge grassroots activist if you want to call me that. I used every chance I could, to be involved and be educated about the issues at hand. I had an idea to help educate citizens about these same issues. I wanted to hear from the citizens from our great nation. With this idea, I created the "Citizens Roundtable." I ventured out to ask others in the area to be a part of this commitment to hearing from the people, and educating them to have confidence to come out and rally for what they believe. This endeavor would not be today, if not for the dedication and extremely hard work of my friend, Julie Ranson, and others who have participated along the way. Julie is truly the glue that holds this together. All this, and still wondering am I making a difference.

From TV stations, to parking lots, to downtown streets, interviews on the radio, WRVA, TV-6, CNN, and local newspapers. How much more will it take. I even jumped on board and created my Facebook page, and from then on I have really felt like I was in a war, with many battles at hand. Winning them one by one, knowing another one was ahead to fight, all along making friends all across this great land.

Through all the elections, which I certainly was proud that I had the opportunity to volunteer and be a part of. All the activities I participated in, speaking at a coffee house in Cullman, AL, while on a trip set up by my new patriot friend Nan Austin. Moderating the Lobbying 101 Seminar with a coalition of local patriot groups and all the work put in by another new patriot friend Carol Stopps. To be followed up by an awesome Lobby Day at our State Capitol, here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in which an estimated crowd of 2400 came from all over our great state. Still wondering have I made a difference.

Well, let me tell you, "WE THE PEOPLE" have made the difference. This war is not won on the backs of one American, but on the backs of many. Everything I have done this past year has been because of "WE THE PEOPLE." A man told me many years ago, that if you are not willing to change, it will change you. I have felt a change this past twelve months that I took upon myself to do. Just ask those who know me, my family, and my friends. Why? Because I love America, and the Freedom it stands for, and I will not sit back and watch our country be mandated, and force onto the citizens changes that are in direct conflict with the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Declarartion of Independence, our forefathers founded this country on.

Grassroots; Yes, you are making a difference, and I am proud to stand beside you in this war as we take on every battle that comes our way. After seeing what just happened in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, I know I am making a difference. Remember, a mighty river is made up of tiny little raindrops, your raindrop counts, and never let anyone convince you otherwise!

Daren Gardner