Labor of Love
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”
On August 6, 2011, my cousin, CPO (SEAL) Christopher G. Campbell, was killed in Afghanistan while serving our country alongside 29 fellow comrades and 1 service dog. In Chris’ will, there was a note stating that if he was killed in the line of duty that he wanted his hometown newspaper to do a story about him asking every person reading to donate a dollar to a wounded warrior organization. It should tell you what kind of guy he was that even in his death, he wanted the focus to be on helping others.
In 2012, my cousin, Le (Chris’ brother), and his wife, Terri came up with the idea to have a bowhunter’s challenge to reflect on Chris’ memory and honor his love for the outdoors all while donating to the wounded. I recently returned from this year’s event held in Jacksonville, NC (Chris’ hometown). Included was an archery shoot, 5k trail run, food & beer station, bounce house for the kids, awards, music, and a lot more. So many people worked tirelessly and diligently to plan and put on the Frogman 3D Bowhunters Challenge & 5k. My Kitbash cohorts volunteered their time to create a logo, signs and other promo pieces for the event. All of which incorporate the bonefrog. For those of you that don’t know, the bonefrog is a recognized symbol for fallen SEALs.
The money that we raised will go to Jacksonville local wounded veteran, SSgt Adel Abudayeh, who runs the Purple Heart Art Project. Their objective is to help veterans cope with the stresses, traumatic experiences, and injuries of combat through art therapy. I would be happy to help anyone in need, but it’s a bonus that this organization helps others through art, one of my life’s passions. Hope for the Warriors actually had to nominate Adel because he didn’t want to put himself on the list. There was not anyone more deserving than Adel to benefit from the Chris Campbell Memorial Fund.
One of my favorite moments from the days I spent in North Carolina was listening to Chris' widow (my sister from another mister) talk about how he always did the small things. Still inspired by his humility, selflessness, and enjoyment of life. I’m thankful everyday for Chris & his sacrifice and for the others who continue to serve this nation. Long live the brotherhood.