Engage Your Destiny, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring life, hope and healing to the soldiers and soldiers of the United States, recently hosted its Heroes Honor Festival for local Vietnam veterans on Thursday, October 14th Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club.
Over 260 guests and veterans attended the event to collect deserving patriots who have served in Vietnam, many of whom also sacrificed their lives. The event raised approximately $ 350,000 and 100% of the proceeds will go to future festivals.
Armin Assadi, President of the EYD, said the organization is faith-based and was started by his good friend and business partner, Ben Peterson.
Peterson is an eight-year US Army veteran who served two years in Iraq and experienced the trauma of the war. The prospect of coming home made him extremely vulnerable.
“One of my closest friends, Ben Peterson, is the founder of the organization. I was speaking at a store manager meeting and he was at … and after I spoke he came up to me and said literally, ‘I need to’ know you ‘in a very aggressive way and it was very intimidating because he’s a typical military guy and out of fear I said, ‘Absolutely. Let’s get in touch anytime, just don’t hurt me, “laughed Assadi.” We connected and started hanging out and we got very connected on both a belief-based level and a love of the military. Over time when we were on the sidelines … our vision came along and he sold me. I was all about making this “a reality. We’ve been doing it together ever since.”
Assadi, an Iranian-American religious refugee who attributes the life and freedom he and his family have to the United States, said he was inspired by his father to join the organization.
“I would say as a person who has 13 martyrs in their family who were killed simply because they were of the wrong religion and lived our lives on the run for almost a decade just to avoid execution – if you were in a country comes like that and you see the freedoms that exist – it’s impossible for me not to care, “said Assadi.” And I would say that the most impressive moment for me was my first five minutes on American soil, when we landed in Minneapolis. “
Assadi, who was 8 when he came to America, said that instead of entering the airport upon arrival, he and his father stood on the tarmac where they had a meaningful conversation that he will never forget.
“I remember walking away, my father was side by side with me and suddenly I look to the right and my father is not there. I went back to him, pulled on his pant leg and asked what he was doing. He reminded me of a conversation he had with me when I was three or four years old when we were living in Iran, “said Assadi.” He asked if I remember that the Iranian flag was worn by a lion was changed with a sword to our law written in the middle, and I said yes uniform, don’t make eye contact, don’t run away and make sure they don’t follow me because if you lead them back to our house they will know us and us execute. “
Assadi remembered his father comparing the Iranian flag to the US flag and what it meant.
“My father said that the US flag represents death for us too, and in my little child’s brain I thought, what is the point in going from one country to another if it only represents death? we would be executed. It represented the death of many people who came before us and still serve the United States, “Assadi said.” He said these people go and fight and do whatever it takes to give people like us a chance of freedom to have. He got down on one knee and looked me in the eye and said it was the first time we had breathed as a family “in freedom. He said we don’t have to be afraid of getting killed and when I’m in this country See people in uniform, then don’t run away from them, but run towards them and hold out my hand and not thank them for their service, but thank them for saving our lives. “
Assadi said it was at that key moment when he vowed to always honor veterans and said he hadn’t looked back.
More information about the EYD can be found at https://engageyourdestiny.com/