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Troy wrote this as he was on his way to the Gala in February. Enjoy!

Seems like I write a lot of these while sitting in an airport heading to another event. This trip to our 3rd annual Gala started off normal enough. Get the to airport, sit down, and then the departure time slips 30 minutes. No big deal, just means I’m going to get my exercise hustling through the airport to catch my connecting flight that is scheduled to depart now 30 minutes after I land. Then while they were turning around the plane, there had apparently been a “biological incident” in rows 34 and 35. I glance down at my ticket, 34C. At least I get an aisle seat… 30 more minutes to clean(ish) that mess up and we finally get on what proves to be a pretty pungent plane. No big deal, I’ll sort out the connection when I get there. Taxiing out and wait…why are we heading the wrong way… ahh, someone’s seat is broken. We have to go back to the gate for maintenance to have a look. I’m starting to wonder if Christine is painted on the side of this airplane. An hour later, we’re finally wheels up and headed for Texas.

Why is that story relevant? Well, for one, it feels good to tell it because, you really can’t make that stuff up. Second, it’s a microcosm of the things we do everyday in OEW. Run into a challenge, keep your cool, assess the situation, and take action. Could I have gotten upset with the airline, pilots, flight crew? Sure, but what good would it have done. It was a situation where a smile and a bit of empathy went a lot further then words of frustration ever could. We pride ourselves on being able to overcome adversity and succeeding. That’s what our Honorees expect and we will not fail in that mission.

This weekend marks the kickoff of 10 years of OEW and the “Year of Reflection” with the Gala. Like we tell our honorees, we’ll take the challenges in stride. We are here to support one another and make sure we accomplish our goal. This weekend is about spending time together as an OEW family, celebrating our challenges, successes, and setting the stage for an awesome year. Looking forward to seeing you all!

Memento Mori!


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Holiday Letter 2022
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OEW Family,

Happy Holidays Everyone! It is hard to believe that we are at the end of another year as we close out the Year of Empowerment. I want to thank you all for making our mission a success! It’s no surprise that the last couple of years were a little rough as a hands-on, in-person organization. Still, the OEW family showed, once again, that nothing will stop us. Your dedication to helping others and building this family is nothing short of remarkable. Thank you!

I hope that as your turkey coma wears off, you are all surrounded by family and taking time to reflect on the past year. We saw a slew of new Honorees (over 200 now!) We had the opportunity to participate in a bunch of new events. We have forged new relationships with sponsors and donors who believe in our mission, and that’s all because of you. We’ve had new members and Honorees step up to take on some important jobs that keep the organization running. There really is a lot of thankless work that goes on behind the scenes to make everything possible. For all of you who labor quietly to make it all happen, thank you! For all the new folks stepping up, I am excited to have you onboard; I look forward to your ideas and for asking why. That question challenges the status quo and forces us to think about things in different ways and from different viewpoints. Thanks for challenging us to be better.

Next year marks our 10-year anniversary and we’ve planned a lot of great things. 2023 will be the “Year of Reflection.” It’s about celebrating where we’ve been and reflecting on where we are going. The good news is that it looks like we are really back to normal in world of in-person events. We are planning fewer events, but our goal is to show up in force to support our Honorees and raise awareness for our mission. We’ve scheduled a major event every quarter, starting with the Gala on President’s Day weekend at the Black Rifle Coffee Company Ranch to celebrate our anniversary. Keep an eye on the official calendar and sign up early so we can include you in the planning.

Finally, make sure to keep a good eye on your friends and family. While this is a very happy time of year for most, some people really struggle, and your call or kind word may be the one action that breaks the chain of self-destruction.

I am really excited about what 2023 has in store for us all. Let’s get out there and crush it!

Memento Mori, Troy

Troy Warshel


Operation Enduring Warrior

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