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Survive The Drive II

My Dad was an Army Medic, WWII, Burma. Saw a lot of bad things but came away from the experience driven. He came home to finish his degree then was accepted to the U.C Berkeley Masters program in Public Health. He took over a small hospital in San Francisco and transformed it into a leading edge Medical Center which was on the frontline of the AIDS epidemic.

30 year old First Class Petty Officer Daniel Durgin served this Country as a Navy Corpsman in Iraq. He was highly decorated. He was working on his Masters Thesis in Molecular Biology. Who knows what Daniel might accomplish in his lifetime. We’ll never know.

Daniel was stopped at a light in Marysville when he was hit from behind by an individual who “looked down” and took the eyes off the road “For just a second”.

Daniel’s Obituary was in the Union on Friday. I decided to use it at Survive the Drive II the next day to explain to the kids and parents why we were so dedicated to our teens and their driving habits.

At the conclusion of my remarks a young lady, one of the Mothers, raised her hand and told Saturday’s 84 attendees “That was my Brother”. I was stunned. The gasp from the crowd was followed by quiet sobs…….
To say Survive the Drive II was a success would be a complete understatement.

From the parents….

“I was excited to hear about this program - today! My son lost his dear friend, Justin, in the recent drunk driving tragedy. He has had his permit 2 weeks and this program looks amazing as far as education and empowerment. Thanks so much for putting it on.”

“Rocky – GVFD Fire engineer at Station II – Our worst days are rescuing deceased from car wrecks. It’s especially heart breaking when it’s a teenager. Every teen should go through your training. Thanks for doing this.”

“My son failed his permit test this year so we can’t do your training. Please do it again next year…..he really needs it!”

“My son will be 16 next year and he will go through your course." – Captain Johnson, GVPD.

“This is awesome. I will email the forms in just a moment. And I am grateful beyond words to the Roamin Angels. Abella's beloved dad, my husband of 30 years, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's in 2017. Although $49 is very little, if you are open to waiving it, it would be appreciated as we are trying to watch every cent. He has recently been approved for SSDI and the children now receive benefits because of this. If not, absolutely no worries whatsoever. With massive gratitude - (Yes was the answer, of course.)

“They should make watching the Classroom presentation mandatory in order to graduate High School.”

“ How can we get this going in my other Grandson’s school district?”

Thank you to all the RA volunteers who made this a success once again.

So for the five Parents who have already asked about “STD III”, all the kids whose dreams and futures have been short changed and fellow Veteran Daniel, The Roamin Angels and I will do everything we can to make this happen again next year. I hope you’ll join in again.

– Commentary by Mike H. • Photos by Edie & Bud H.


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