Legends Never Die: A Tribute To Rick Thompson

When we sit back and reflect upon our short time on Earth, we often talk about our careers, our families and sometimes the things we wished we had done differently. For some people their reflection is entrusted in the higher power of the impact they made on this world prior to their departure. For me, my life has been dedicated to the service of this country. I believe in the idea we were founded upon. My aspirations always meant doing the things that were difficult. As I sit here writing this article from a trampoline park watching my kids play, I now realize I didn’t serve for a flag or even for this country. I served for the men who fought beside me, and so my children could enjoy a life where they can flourish and hopefully never witness the things I have seen.

I reflect upon the word service. I try my best to understand why some of us have a passionate desire to make things better for the rest of us. Every human serves something or someone within their lifetime. A parent who sacrifices for their children, a soldier who lays down their life for their country or a child caring for their elderly parent. I believe service to each other is part of what makes us human and allows us to fully utilize the gift of consciousness evolution bestowed upon our species. The emotions that drive service are the greatest gifts. We serve because we love, because we are empathetic and because we believe in the greater good the world has to offer. The payoff for service is impact. It is the impact of service that allows humans to prosper, not only for ourselves but as a collective. The human experience is different for everyone. Many will suffer, some will adapt and overcome and the folks I feel sorry for are those who never had the opportunity to struggle and find the beauty in overcoming things they never believed possible.

A select few will struggle, suffer and overcome barriers that birth them a super power. The power of their own voice! These folks not only overcome obstacles, but they are emboldened and empowered to fight, and their impact becomes the stories legends are born from. For me, my friend Rick Thompson was one of those chosen people. I first met Rick back in 2018. I was a disabled veteran who had given up on life. I had lost my sense of purpose, my passion for service and worst of all my voice. Many people know my background as a former federal agent. On most planets you will rarely find a former fed and a cannabis activist striking up a friendship. Rick took things a step further. He not only became my friend and mentor, but he believed in me! Rick helped me find my lost voice through opportunity. Some of my fondest memories where I have felt the most empowered was standing and fighting next to Rick. The passion I felt was no different than what I felt standing next to my brothers in arms. Rick loved the veterans! Rick gave me opportunities nobody else could have offered. Rick’s larger than life personality not only commanded respect, but it allowed his impact to become system changing. Rick’s reverence for the cannabis plant, combined with the love he had for those who sacrificed for it was profound.  

My favorite quality of Rick was his ability to see the beauty in the small things. The way his smile lit up talking about a sunset or something he saw in nature always struck me as admirable. As a soldier I live by the qualities of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity and Personal courage.  The sequence of those qualities spells out leadership.  Rick lived by all the same qualities and was a great leader. He fought for what he believed and stood his ground. Rick was as much of a soldier in my eyes as any of the best I served with. My path has led me to experience more loss than I ever dreamt possible. With each loss I have always believed the way we honor their memory is what makes them immortal. Rick’s work inspired many of us to want to do better. Legends are stories that may or may not be true. Everything Rick accomplished was larger than life. Rick left this earth leaving more than a legend behind. Rick left a legacy which not everyone can do.

Rest in power brother!

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