This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," August 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: On Saturday, we're here in Washington, D.C., to restore honor. And you have to find it and define it first. On Saturday, we are going to be giving — this is the first medal — we're giving three people, three citizens medals, Restoring Honor.
Really, the only place that you really find honor is in our military now, where you find it in great abundance. And I found an amazing organization: Special Operations Warrior Foundation, SOWF. It is amazing.
It started in the desert of Iran when they went in to rescue the hostages and the helicopter burned. You remember? Guys looked at each other before they landed and said, I die, will you take care of my family? And vice versa — Yes, I will. But if you die, I'll take care of yours. If I die you take care of mine. That's the way it all started. It was soldiers taking care of soldiers. We don't do it as a country. But you know what? I kind of like it that way. We should be responsible. These are amazing people that have fought and died for us and our freedom.
I want to introduce you to a couple of the people who have been helped by the Special Operations Warrior Foundation: Valerie Chapman-Nessel, she is the widow of Tech Sgt. John A. Chapman. And Melinda — please say your name for me.
MELINDA PETRIGNANI, DAUGHTER OF FALLEN ARMY RANGER: Petrignani.
BECK: Petrignani. She is the daughter of private Michael Rudess. I'm sorry about that, Melinda.
PETRIGNANI: Oh, no worries.
BECK: We met before out west. You have an amazing story.
First, let me talk to you, Valerie, about your husband. Real quick: How did your husband die?
VALERIE CHAPMAN-NESSEL, WIDOW OF TECH. SGT. JOHN A. CHAPMAN: It was March 2002, the Battle of Anaconda. When we had just first started going over there to get the Afghanis. And basically, a Navy SEAL had fallen out of helicopter that was shot down. And so they had to go back in and get him because they don't leave anyone behind.
BECK: And he jumped out. He lost his life.
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: Yes, he lost his life. He took out machine gun nests. He got the Air Force Cross awarded to him for his heroism.
BECK: All right. And so when your husband died, what was your life like? A mess?
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: Yes, basically. I mean, I remember, initially, there was a knock at the door. I remember that. And then the next two weeks were very blurry. But I had so much help and support and love from my family, my friends, his combat controller buddies.
BECK: How does the Special Operations Warrior Foundation — how do they actually help? Listen to this, America, because this is amazing.
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: They are an amazing group of people. I mean, within the first month or so, you're contacted, you know, about the organization and they get your information. But they send my girls, you know, Christmas and birthday cards every year. And they will make sure my children, John's babies, get to go to college for free. What more could you want, you know?
BECK: Melinda, when you were out with me, we spoke at a fundraiser together and you were remarkable.
PETRIGNANI: Thank you.
BECK: Because — what hit me was this is not an organization that is — you are not donor recipient 1174.
BECK: They know you. Explain.
PETRIGNANI: They call me, like, they call my mom in elementary school, middle school, high school. They don't just contact you like, "Oh, you're 18, you're ready to go to college. Now, we'll start a relationship." It's —
BECK: Is it true? I heard John Carney — he's one of the head guys — he said that if you have been struggling in school, fifth grade, they fly out. What is the deal?
PETRIGNANI: Well, John might call you himself. Or —
PETRIGNANI: Or come and talk to you if you're — give you a little nice push in the right direction if you're not up to par.
BECK: I want to talk to you a little bit more about this. We have a couple more minutes. Let me take a break.
America, I want to just share something with you personally what I have seen that I think is what we are really supposed to be like, next.
BECK: We're back with Valerie Chapman-Nessel and Melinda Petrignani. She is — you lost your father when you were eight months old?
BECK: In the special operations. And you lost your husband when we just started going to Afghanistan.
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: And my daughters were three and five at the time.
BECK: And frightening for a mom. Frightening for mom on how do I —
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: What do I do? How do I do it?
BECK: Got it.
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: Yes. Definitely.
BECK: I don't know if you know this. We don't send our heroes — our fallen to — the kids to college. It's incumbent on us. It's incumbent on us. You are coming to the honor — Restoring Honor rally?
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: Yes. With our girls.
BECK: With your girls?
BECK: You had written down a couple of things here. Would you share what you wrote about honor?
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: I found this on a church marquee and it said, "Honor, the only people who have it, have character." I believe every man and woman who died for the country has that character.
BECK: We have to find it for ourselves.
CHAPMAN-NESSEL: Oh, yes. We do. And also honor them by remembering freedom is their gift to us, meaning to Americans. You know, what they did was — so you can still live here free.
BECK: It's not — your father's gift was not freedom. It was to me, but it's not necessarily to you.
PETRIGNANI: Right. His gift to me was sacrificing, knowing that being in special ops you're not going to be there all the time, that something could happen, that your family might not know where you are or what you are doing, but knowing that you have that family to come home to.
BECK: We selected — I selected — Special Operations Warrior Foundation because it is an incredibly clean, well-run organization that struggles to honor commitment. We have 500 families that have to be taken care of. These are the elite. These are the ones that go in and do the jobs that nobody can do and they go and do it. And they don't complain. They don't whine about it. And they leave family behind. Isn't it our job to take care of them?
I know this event on 8/28 has gotten a lot of heat and, unfortunately, not an awful lot of attention has gone to Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which I would just ask you to please look into.
If you feel you can donate — look, this rally — they are building this stuff, this was paid for a long, long time ago. I promised this. And I don't know of other — I don't know of anybody else has ever done this with a charity. I promised them that they would not go in the black — they wouldn't spend a dime of their money on this. If we didn't raise the money, I said I would personally pay for every dollar of this.
We long ago raised enough money on this. But I sure would, on Saturday night, like to present them with a very, very, very large check.
Could we make a goal of actually sending all of those children to college, taking care of, making sure that there is nobody — there is nobody that is in our elite actually having to worry? That when these guys are going on a mission and they know at that moment, I may not come back? They know the family will be taken care of, not by a faceless organization, but by us.
Go to GlennBeck.com/828 and donate now. Back in a minute.
BECK: Which three Americans will get the new Medal of Merit on Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial? Find out. Join us there. Good night.
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