"We also timed the trip to coincide with a visit by a group of “wounded warriors,” on Bonaire for a week to learn to dive and get their PADI certification. The group of six men and their wives/girlfriends/kids all came down for a week and stayed at an American-owned dive resort. The entire trip was completely paid for by private, mostly anonymous donors, including the local expat computer bulletin board there. Trip organizers and local expats met the guys and families at the airport and took them for their dive training, and out for sightseeing, shopping and meals. The sponsors had a hard time paying for any of the lunches and dinners, since everywhere they went, American tourists vacationing there insisted on paying. The Lt. Governor had them over for dinner and gave them all “Bonaire Ambassador” medals.
We got invited to the farewell dinner for them and their familes, a giant Texas-size barbeque thrown by the local, former special forces, hotel manager who donated their rooms during their stay. Just being there, and talking with these young men and their familes who had sacrificed so much, as well as the local and visiting Americans who made sure they were comfortable, was a real honor. I represent the greatest country, with the greatest military, the greatest soldiers, and the greatest citizens on earth. Living overseas, and working in this incredible job, I realize that more than ever."