Day 2 September 7th, Saturday

Day 2 September 7th, Saturday

Mack, Miley, and I awoke early in the morning in the truck and I was very tired from the day before. For 2019 I wanted to put myself in homeless people’s shoes by living in the truck for the duration of the mission. Preparing for the mission was stressful and difficult to cram everything into the truck. Making room to sleep was quite a challenge, but we managed to make some comfort. I had not anticipated the discomfort from working out since it had been so long. A good night’s sleep is nothing to take for granted.

After stretching and waking up I went on another run with the dogs. Taking a grown dog is tough, but two with one being a puppy is quite a challenge. After we started the dogs got the hang of it somewhat. As we ran across Walnut Street Bridge the puppy was dragging behind; I thought she was tired. To my surprise she had to potty and so there I was picking up turds with my bare hands and running them to the trash! Next time I will bring a bag or at least try and make them go potty before we run! I made two laps for the Fallen 5 and loved crossing Veteran’s Bridge and seeing their plaques on 5 poles. It inspired me to push harder, to know I should be doing more for myself, to honor the Fallen 5.

After getting back to truck I realized I was completely covered in sweat and my Noogastrong shirt was soaked. I realized that I didn’t have a shower either and I would just have to cool down. I made some French pressed coffee and ate a little food. Our next mission was to hand out water and the PBJ sandwiches. We searched the town over and looked for people. We were successful in giving away all of the food and most of the waters. The goal is to hand out 2 waters and 1 food item to each person.

Another mission is to make the truck look as good a possible to represent the Fallen 5 properly. The decals and paint from prior years is show it’s age. After my accident I was not able to care for the truck and it sat outside for the winter and the sun got the decals to peel. I headed to the library to reprint the decals and put them on for each man. I want people to know what the truck is about when they see it, so I can point to their names and speak about their sacrifices.

 

 

 

 

 

For the 2nd round of feeding I decided that hot dogs would be a good thing to make. I bought 48 hotdogs, buns, beans, ketchup, mustard, and other supplies for feeding. I also bought more water and filled a new cooler to keep the food safe and cool out in the hot weather.

For the evening we decided to park somewhere more quiet and secure. Sleeping in a truck with no top and exposed is a unique experience. You hear everything and feel the city, it never sleeps. We visited Craven’s House and were blessed with an amazing sunrise.

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 1, September 6th, Friday

September 6th, 2019. Day 1.

The 2019 Fallen 5 Drive began with an early morning 6:30 AM run across Walnut Street Bridge and across Veteran’s Bridge. The two dogs and I stretched out, then I did some pushups and leg lifts. My goal is to honor the men with as many laps as I can run, and think about what they sacrificed while doing so. PT is a big part of daily life in the military and I know getting myself into shape will be a good thing for me as well. I want to take these 10 days to improve my community and myself.

My goal this year for the Fallen 5 Drive is to honor these men by doing good things for the community through my actions. Feeding and helping the poorest in our community is important because it is how we Americans should be taking care of one another. Serving your country can begin by helping people right in your own back yard.

Once I reorganized the truck after getting supplies, I headed to the Chattanooga National Cemetery to visit the graves of the SSGT David Wyatt and PO Randall Smith. It was a very peaceful day to observe the tempo of the city. The cemetery is very calm and it was an honor to spend time resting with some of our national heroes.

Once I finished at the cemetery I drove to the mural near the cemetery. After taking a picture of the truck next the mural I headed to the river park to let the dogs swim and check on the memorial in the river park. As far as I could see there was no progress on the site unless I was missing something. One of my goals is to check in on Fallen 5 memorial sites to ensure progress is being made and that they are kept up.

I begin the Fallen 5 Drive the same way every year. I visit the initial shooting site and eat a meal with the Fallen 5 at the Lee Hwy memorial. This year I folded up a flag with 2 volunteers for the Navy. It was special teaching these young men about the heritage they are about to embrace. Once I arrived at the Riverpark, I dipped the tires back in the Tennessee River and put water on the flag.

Now that the drive began, my next mission was to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pass out waters. I made about 40 sandwiches and handed out about 60 water bottles. I simply drive around and see who needs food or water. Since I have been helping some people who are homeless, I have a good idea of where to start and where I can make a large impact. One of the highest concentration of people with needs is outside of the Community Kitchen. We often deliver most of the supplies here after driving around for a few hours. After a long day the dogs and I slept in the truck off Lookout Street.

Joshua David Kapellusch

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Update

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Update

After long consideration of the impact and goals of the Fallen 5 Drive, I have made the decision to “deploy to Chattanooga” for 2 weeks beginning September 6th, and ending on the 15th of September. I will live in the truck for these 2 weeks, helping people who are homeless by feeding, watering, and securing resources for these people in honor of these men.

My ultimate goal is to find at least 1 homeless veteran and get them housed. I will also feed and water at least 50 people per day in their honor. I will do ground work on finding what the status of the memorial at the park is and see why it is delayed. I will honor these men, their lives, their families, and the community they left behind. We have a lot of work to do here in Chattanooga, and I feel I can impact more people this way rather than driving across the country for 2 weeks.

Traditionally the Fallen 5 Drive was about taking the folded Amnicola American Flag across the United States and flying it from the Golden Gate bridge to honor these 5 brave heroes. After committing myself for 3 successful years, 15,000 miles, and thousands of dollars from myself and sponsors, I have seriously considered the impact of my actions. I feel that helping living, breathing citizens of the United States of America in Chattanooga, it would better honor their sacrifice by working in my community.

I went to the Golden Gate Bridge because during Vietnam people threw garbage on returning veterans. And more recently, the San Francisco 49er decided to not stand for the flag, and this is garbage as well. Before the washed up quarterback decided to not stand for that beautiful flag, I/we had already completed 2 successful missions of flying it from the bridge – we took it straight to the middle of the bridge to say – NO, WE HONOR OUR FLAG, OUR COUNRTY, AND THOSE WHO HAVE SACRIFICED TO KEEP IT FLYING.

This year I feel that I can impact more people than the few I meet on the highway. Last year I helped 8 homeless people, and this year I will help at least 600 right here in Chattanooga. With the rising costs of housing locally, there are more than 700 homeless people who need assistance right now, every day. I will find out what their needs are and keep you all updated. I will give rides, facilitate feeding people from sponsor donations and out of pocket donations, and generally be of assistance to anyone in need, especially veterans. I will have a daily schedule posted in the next few days. My goal is to demonstrate how we as Americans, can work together and care for one another.

To help, start by spreading the message of the mission. Share, like, and donate if you feel compelled to help your fellow humans in need. Over the next few days, I will be raising awareness and generating support. Starting now until the 15th I will accept donations of money, food, water, clothing, backpacks, socks, and general items for living. We can all do a little, and a little goes a long way. Remember, that without community we have no country – and to have strength we must remain United in these States of America, under God.

Thank you. For more questions or resources please call or text Joshua at 423.414.8233. Email fallen5drive@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Joshua David Kapellusch

Founder/Driver of the Fallen 5 Drive

What July 16th Means to Me

July 16th, 2015 is a day which will live in infamy for me, personally. A tragedy for sure, a loss for all. Despite the time that has passed, I have recognized the lasting effects of such an event on my life and in my community. A seething rebuke fuels my passion for turning this tragedy into a triumph. My response to the coward who showed up in his rented convertible blazing away at our unarmed heroes, was to peacefully fold up an American flag and bring it across the country to demonstrate unity and love.

Each year after the attack, I have made good on my personal oath to these men – to NEVER FORGET. I do my best with a unique vehicle which represents American ideals of freedom, creativity, and unity. We need not fight one another in this country, rather respect and understand. We need not agree on everything, but we must be united in order to successfully achieve the ideals that we all work toward.

Teamwork and love bring things together, and makes life better. My team of builders, donors, and supporters allow me to achieve the seemingly impossible – driving 500 miles per day, on 5 fuels, to fly the folded Amnicola American Flag from the Golden Gate Bridge.

I created the mission from a place of love and desire to make my community and country better. My mission is to honor these men for 5,000 miles – to give them a voice and a meaningful mission which is in motion. It is a significant, living and moving memorial that takes our Chattanooga community across the United States.

Despite tragedy, we became stronger. Chattanooga Strong! The theme for 2019 is “The drive is still alive”. And I am still alive despite being involved in a rear-ending in the Blazer of Glory after returning home. This type of accident was my biggest fear, but through my hard work and sponsors the life-saving roll cage and rear bumper worked to save my life. The drive is still alive! However, the Blazer of Glory is needing repairs and preparation for the 2019 mission which leaves on September 6th, to be on the bridge on September 11th. This date seems fitting and 100% appropriate.

To become a valuable member of the team all you have to do is like, share, or support our mission! If you feel compelled to donate you may on the fallen5drive.org website as funds are needed to make the mission a success. I want as much support as possible so we may all heal and grow our community and team of Fallen 5 Drive supporters. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

Thank you,

Joshua David Kapellusch

Warrior

Warrior

What is a warrior?

Warrior as defined by Dictionary.com.

Warrior: 1. a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. 2. a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.

Some of us are born warriors – seeing the need to fight for others, to improve their lives no matter the cost. When a warrior places value on their life, they calculate the possibility of their maxim effect of their efforts and the potential cost. The cost of living on without fighting for one’s innate and inalienable right to pursue happiness, or other’s rights to happiness – is higher than the cost of losing one’s life in the battles that will ensue for a greater good.

Warriors fight battles in the war with a purposeful end in sight. The glory of battle is not lost on the battlefield. The glory of heroism is never forgotten – a legacy of life given for others, a true sacrifice is made and the legend of the warrior never dies. Those who survive the war, have a duty to honor those fellow warriors now without their physical voice. We warriors must embolden ourselves for we now represent those that can no longer wave the flag or speak their peace. We must never let our brethren die inside us for it is the pilot light for our own warrior spirit that keeps us alive. We living warriors must live our lives, not focused on the dead, but to rather live our lives with purpose for the warriors who are resting.

A warrior’s spirit never dies, only resides like a waning tide. We pull away to reset ourselves on giving life, rather than taking it. We build in place of destruction. We rebuild ourselves.

The warrior’s spirit is driven by love. Seemingly contradictory – one must take a life in order to provide a better life for others. One must protect their good, their way of life – one must always fight for what they believe is right. Following God’s word, a warrior on a warpath can embark on a mission that is just if the purpose of the fight is rooted in the word of God, and in line with love. A warrior need not always kill another human, but they must relentlessly attack and defend against evil that causes harm to the warrior’s tribe and purpose. A warrior must defend against and kill the evil spirit within another human, for it is not life-giving.

My warrior spirit lives on inside me and I will always fight for good – for God – and for love. A warrior wars for peace and protection; a warrior sacrifices their life so that other’s may have a better life. A warrior is born, but never dies. A warrior yearns to sacrifice everything. A living warrior is jealous of those who had the opportunity to die, they must live on in their honor with a renewed purpose of giving and protecting life, rather than taking and harming life. Life is precious and delicate; it is not guaranteed. It must be fought for, even in peaceful times and places. Honor a warrior by living a positive life – be life giving. Honor the sacrifices they made for you, for you will never know the gift of giving the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield.

A warrior is always watchful for the next battle. They seek the weak, not to exploit, but to protect and provide. A warrior’s spirit never dies and we are always vigilant to needs of the weak. Our abundant strengths, courage, and intuition guide us. Each battle is new and unique, we warriors battle on so others may have a voice to speak. Death and evil chase life and happiness with a vengeance – for evil is never satisfied, until death presides. But death does not know that without life and love, death and evil have no purpose. A warrior is capable of love and mercy, whereas evil and death do not know love. A warrior is able to deliver justice in an envelope of hate, packaged and delivered intentionally to the source. A curious devil will open this pre-addressed letter unknowingly motivated by a unruled conquest of curiosity at the cost of demise. A warrior leaves it up to their adversary to open the envelope, but gives no mercy once opened. A warrior will include their return address as an open invitation for the opponent to attack or seek mercy. A warrior is capable of mercy and forgiveness as they fight from a source of love, derived from God.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” A warrior loves their enemy, and they win the battle before it ever begins. Life is meant to sustain and grow. Life is movement, and death is stillness. A warrior’s life is a living one – and their spirit never dies.

Do good, and never give up. We are all warriors in our words and actions. No warrior is perfect, nor is every battle won. Victory comes to warriors when they give everything and by the grace of God, we shall open our eyes one more day – to fight on for good, for light, and for love. Be a warrior and fight on. You are never alone and you have a purpose if you are still living. Be slow to anger and listen with your heart. Trust your intuition and if you doubt, pray.

Joshua David Kapellusch

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Events

2019 has been quite the year so far! The Fallen 5 Drive is still alive and rolling thank God! I have attended 2 events for the Fallen 5 – the Coker Tire Cruise In at Jordan Park and the Military Kids Serve Too at the Creative Discovery Museum.

At each event I allow kids to get in an start it up. Often they are seen revving the truck to 6,200 RPM with huge grins on their faces! The sound of clean freedom rings out to inspire these little spirits and to honor the Fallen 5! These acts are my medicine that help me in life. I live to serve others, especially those in our communities who deserve it.

As you may know, since getting rear ended in the Blazer of Glory in September of 2018 – my life has changed. I survived a 45 MPG impact and so did the truck. Neither the truck nor I was able to recover as quickly as I had hoped. However, I designed the truck to take such an impact so I and others would survive if there was such an accident.

There are still damages on the truck that need to be fixed although it still drives. It has limped along so far to the short events locally. I will need help fixing it as I have limited resources so reach out with support such a access to a garage and an area to store the truck.

I will keep everyone updated as we progress!

Thank you,

Joshua David Kapellusch

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Sponsorship Opportunity – Now Open!

Click here for a PDF of the letter: Sponsorship Letter, 2019

 

Dear Supporter,

I am on a mission to never forget the Fallen 5 – the 4 Marines and 1 Sailor who were killed in the terrorist attack on July 16th, 2015 in Chattanooga, TN. I have dedicated an annual 5,000-mile drive from Chattanooga, TN to San Francisco, CA in their honor, by carrying a special folded American flag from the shooting site and then flying it from the Golden Gate Bridge. I named it the “Fallen 5 Drive”.  I am turning a tragedy into a triumph with your help, to heal our community and spread the message of unity and love across our country – values we all Americans share.

To make the trip a success I need sponsorship and donations to cover the costs for the mission. Each year I receive support from the community in and around Chattanooga to help involve others and provide a healing mission. I demonstrate how we Americans can work together in times of need and how we never forget about the people who sacrifice everything to protect others.

By sponsoring the trip your organization will benefit from the positive associations of helping out a great cause. To never forget is our mantra… never forget about the Fallen 5, the police and fire departments, the service members who never made it home, and for those still serving. Americans always answer the call to serve, we always have. I am asking for your help in carrying the message of never forgetting the Fallen 5 heroes for 5,000 plus miles and for the rest of the year.

Sponsoring the trip will generate a huge amount of positive publicity and community goodwill on your behalf, due to the fact that the mission is vitally important to our community and country. The truck looks so different and cool and receives a ton of attention – and it is also the World’s First 5 Fueled Automobile! It is a vehicle for a larger message of how Americans work together for an improved future and inspire one another. Sponsorship can come in many ways such as financial contributions, parts, or volunteering. You will be listed on www.fallen5drive.org, our Facebook page, and other social media accounts to show your support. Naming you or your organization is possible at every news interview on TV and radio, in press releases, in local and national newspapers, and other coverages.

By sponsoring the 2019 mission you will have the opportunity to support a once-in-a-lifetime memorial, a completely original truck, and be affiliated with setting at least 1 World Record or more! The mission will take place in August or September for the 4th consecutive year. Sponsorships are filling fast so a quick response will ensure you get the best exposure for your organization. If you cannot sponsor the mission please share the mission with others, visit the website, like and share the Facebook page, and follow the mission as we embark on the journey.

Contact Joshua Kapellusch – the founder of the Fallen 5 Drive and builder of the truck for more information. Visit www.fallen5drive.org for updates and to read more about the mission.

Thank you and sincerely,

Joshua D. Kapellusch

423.414.8233

fallen5drive@gmail.com

 

 

Fallen 5 Drive Update, 2019

I am getting the truck rolling again for the Fallen 5 Drive mission for 2019!

After recovering from being rear-ended by a car in the blazer, I have a new purpose and mission. Watch the video for more updates! Stay tuned as we ramp up for 2019’s Fallen 5 Drive! Thank you for your support! Like and share this page and video to support the Fallen 5 Drive!