January 28th, 2007 15:16 EST
Support Our Troops - Bob Calvert -- Talking with Heroes
Transcript of interview with Judyth Piazza and Bob Calvert
Hi, Bob, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.
Thank you, Judy, it’s a pleasure to be on. I appreciate it.
Well, you are doing some amazing things. Tell us a little bit about Bob.
Well, let’s see – Bob’s life kind of changed back when my daughter was 18 years old. And she kind of surprised me back in Kansas City. She graduated from high school and decided she was going to enlist in the Army.
I never saw that coming; we never talked about it. And it kind of caused me to change my thinking a lot. And about a year and a half later, I ended up living by Ft. Riley and talking to a lot of soldiers – matter of fact, the building I moved into was almost all soldiers.
And one of the things I heard alot from them was about supporting the troops when they were in Iraq and about the news that was being reported from Iraq – they just didn’t feel like that it was right that the good stuff wasn’t being reported.
And so, I just kind of found myself being thrown into the “support the troops side” of this and, uh, it’s been getting bigger and bigger and bigger and I’m probably the least likely person to be doing it. I don’t have a real company or anything – other than it’s a corporation – but, you know, we don’t have employees and I don’t have income and sponsors, but we just keep moving forward and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.Now, how can someone get involved with your mission?
Well, you know, getting the word out – like we just came back from our second trip to Iraq – I’m amazed that I’m actually doing all this stuff; I’ve never been in the military, you know, wearing the body armor, living with the troops – you know, what we came back with this time, will be all on the Internet for people to listen to hopefully within a few weeks -- the audio part.
And, we interviewed over 40 men and women in the Air Force, Marines, the Minnesota National Guard. We interviewed Iraqis – it’s all about the training. I mean, the areas we went to, the training is clearly working. It’s just that information hasn’t gotten back to the American people yet, until now.
So, that will be airing so it’s getting the word out. You know, sponsors, we really need that because we got a lot of work to do. We want to turn all these interviews we did on film into DVD. They will also be coming out on Cable in 10 states -- Altitude Sports and Entertainment Cable Company, uh, people with Dish Network, DirecTV with sports packages -- they’ll be able to watch it, too.
And, you know, we’ll be able to hear and see our men and women. We went on convoys, foot patrols – it was incredible – a real life-changing experience. And, uh, it was also very humbling to watch how they live. And I came back – 17 days, you know, with a cold and tired and they go through this every day -- week after week; month after month. I mean, they’re doing a great job over there.
Well, you have to be one of the bravest men I know. I don’t know how you would do that.
I don’t know how I do it either, to be honest with you. I’ve just kind of been thrown into this. I feel like I’m a part of some big puzzle here and this is what I’m supposed to do; so, I just go on faith on that.
And, um, we’ve already been asked to come back again. I mean, there’s a lot to do over there; there’s a lot to report. There are so many cities over there where the Iraqis themselves are literally working hard to get the insurgents out of their community.
And they’re working with the Marines and the National Guard and the Army and the Air Force and the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police – so we met a lot of Iraqis. So they’re very concerned about what they see on the news – are we really going to stay and help them because they need us there right now.
But the good news, I saw, is I don’t really think we’re going to have to be there long – I don’t know how long it’s going to be; but, there’s clearly progress being made and they’re taking back their community. There’s no question about that – people will hear that in these interviews over and over again.
So what does your daughter think about all of this?
Well, you know, she’s not in the Army anymore. And, you know, like everybody else in my family, you know, concerned about my safety and always glad when I’m back. And while I was there, my daughter and her husband had their second child. I got to see my granddaughter here as soon as I got back.
And my son-in-law is still in the military. He was over there for a year and he’s been told he’s going to be going back later this year. And we may end up embedding with him and his unit out here in Colorado and, uh, they’re very supportive, no question about it.If someone wants to sponsor your show, how would they go about that?
Well, they can go to the website. There’s different levels of sponsorship – it starts at $25.00, it can go up higher. We’re looking for – right now we’re working hard to get sponsors of Iraq Talk Shows.
And what we’re going to do is, everybody that helps -- like with $100.00 – um, what we’re going to do is list them on one of the Iraq Talk Shows.
And there’s potential for, you know, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions and once words spreads, people are going to want to hear that. And so, they’ll be seen on there. They can list their website.
And, uh, you know, people can get as involved as they want. I mean, we’re getting a lot of Emails right now. And we’re not just getting, you know, Emails from, you know, people that are all for continuing in this. We’re getting people that are not exactly for what happened there.
And, um, this goes beyond politics. You know, this is about supporting our men and women over there.What has been the most rewarding aspect of the mission so far for you?
You know the most rewarding. That’s interesting. My first thinking is – probably what was the hardest.
You know, one of the places we arrived at was in a town called Rawah, Iraq. And we had no idea that we were being brought into the town to actually live there – in the middle of the city. And it was hard because there was no heat and all of that.
But it was very rewarding because we got to drive around all over Iraq in the convoys. We got to meet a lot of Iraqis and a lot of children. And it was really rewarding because we could see that it’s working.
You know, we knew from a previous trip there, we knew what it was like in Rawah just three or four months ago. Now you can walk around in that town safely; that whole city – it’s a city of about 25,000 people. And just watching what our men and women are doing over there is just incredible – I mean, it really is. I mean, I’m very proud of all of them.What’s your background?
I have no background to be doing what I’m doing, that’s for sure. (laughing)
I was into trucking and delivery business in Kansas City for many years. I was in sales. I got involved in multi-level marketing in the 80’s. I was real big in Herbalife – but, I’ve never done anything like this before.
I raised my daughter pretty much by myself from the time she was two and a half – in Kansas City. And now I’m really proud of her and my son-in-law. I have watched them – over the last two or three years – I have been watching them, you know, get their new home and right now they have two children. But she grew up to fast for me, though. (laughing)
(laughing) So you never had any idea that you would want to go into the military either?
Well I’m probably a little too old now to go in the military.Well it sounds like you’re doing exactly what they’re doing.
Well, yeah, when we go over there. I mean, we have other trips planned for later this year already. Right now we’re just focusing on getting sponsors so that we can get these interviews out to the public.
And, then, uh, next, uh, I was asked to come over, if at all possible, by the end of March. Because, while we were there, we kept reading in Stars and Stripes about other towns and cities where the same thing was happening.
There was one in particular where all the Tribal Chiefs had a meeting and they decided enough is enough. They just did not want these IED’s continuing to go off in their towns and the RPG’s and the killings.
And so they came to the Coalition and they said. “We want to start a Police Department in our community. Will you help?” That’s happening in many areas.
And so the people I was with, uh, they would like to take me to some of those other areas now. We will go back and document that and bring that information back to the American people.
So, we’ll say, right now we’re focusing on what we did just a matter of a few days ago, really.
Well, definitely, you have a lot of courage to do what you’re doing. I commend you.
Well, and I look at it like this: they’re over there every day, week after week, month after month. I can go over for a few weeks. And they protect me. You know, anything could happen; anything could happen here, too.
Yes, I’m excited, Judyth. It’s a challenge. You know, every day is a challenge. So, that’s life, though. And you just work at it. You don’t quit. You know, you just feel like this is what you’re supposed to do and, you know, you just stick with it. Find ways to get around the challenges when they come at you.Bob, it’s been a pleasure to have you on the show today. Can you tell our listeners how they can find out more about your show and your mission?
Absolutely, it’s www.talkingwithheros.com.Thank you, Bob.
Thank you, Judy, I appreciate it. I appreciate all the help from you and also Alan Gray with Newsblaze. I appreciate all the help. Thank you.
To listen to the audio interview: http://www.thesop.org/article.php?id=4100