I’m Greg McIntyre, I’m here with Hayden Soloway and this is the elder law report. Today we’re talking with Brandon Sterns who is a high schooler and the key impetus behind the development of the Military Extravaganza which was held in Shelby on April 9th 2017. I found it amazing that a high school senior pulled this together.
The military extravaganza was a march, a celebration, a parade and a host of events including a concert later on. If a high school senior can get an event like this together and get a community energized around him and his group, then what can people out there do for their community?
It’s a challenge.
So, Hayden, you know a lot about the Military Extravaganza.
HS: I know it was very challenging to make this happen, and I know Brandon had plans to do the event last year. Why didn’t you do it then?
BS: Last year I tried to plan it about four months before the day of the event and unfortunately four months is not a long enough time to plan a big event like this. This time, I started planning last August.
The guest performer is Jett Edwards. Jett is a native of Kings Mountain but lives in Tokyo, Japan and has lived there for twenty four years. He does several different benefits for veterans. The one he is trying to get out at this event is, he gives away a house on the east coast and one on the west coast. This will happen in September. He’s on tour now.
HS: Are these for veterans or disabled veterans?
BS: One is for a disabled veteran and the other for a homeless veteran. One of the things that we thought was interesting was, if he doesn’t get enough in donations to pay for the houses, he will take the money out of his own pocket and pays for them himself.
GM: I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask. How does a high schooler decide, I want to do this big military extravaganza for veterans, and then it balloons into this thing where you have ceremonies and parades and colleges turning up to discuss military programs? I commend you for putting this together. I couldn’t put this together without a lot of help.
BS: For me, it was, how am I going to do this? I was always bullied throughout high school, so for me to get up and get out to do something like this has really brought me a lot of joy. I know I’m doing something for somebody else and helping somebody in need because in Cleveland County alone there is a lot of homeless veterans. We want this to be a time of celebration and a time of gathering, and to know that you are welcome and welcome to the campus of Shelby High School.
I have a lot of military in my family, my dad served in the Army for twenty nine years and my grandfather served in the Marines for twenty one years. Three of my family members have received the Bronze Star. I say, just get out and try something new, don’t believe someone who says you can’t doing something.
GM: What is it you want to do with your life when you get out of high school?
BS: When I graduate from high school I will go to Palm Beach University in Palm Beach Florida. It’s a very nice place and I want to get my bachelors in pastoral studies. My plan is to become a Baptist minister.
HS: Is Club Miracle a safe place to do the things you want to do, such as, help others, distinguish yourself, escape from some of life’s hardships?
BS: Club Miracle was founded on five things. Three of those things are, the military, taking care of the homeless, and also helping students in school. Club Miracle has eighteen active members. It’s a place where you can go, and if you have an idea, let us know and we will see what we can do.
GM: This is a club in Shelby High School?
BS: Yes. We have done many different things, a soup kitchen at Central United Methodist Church, we do an Easter egg tree which is a Christmas tree with Easter eggs on it, we did a drive for Hurricane Mathew, we do a lot of stuff.
GM: Thank you for what you’ve done to organize this event, it’s awesome and your actions have inspired me to do something.
Here’s how we can help our veterans. As an elder law attorney and a veteran of the US Navy, I meet with veterans all the time. I am a certified attorney with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and we handle pension benefits for veterans who may need a little help with in-home, assisted living or nursing home care. For more information, you can call me on 704-259-7040.
Contact me if you have any questions. Elder Law is what we do!
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150