Don't worry this ain't no SPAM mail either.
I have never written an message like this before but here it goes and if you are reading this it means you are a valued friend or business partner that I have great encounters with or a good vibe with you in the past. So bascally if you are getting this you know you rock! Needless to say as a friend I am asking for your assistance in the story I am about to share below. The story is tragic yet through the aid, assistance, and hope of so many kind family members, friends, and strangers it has really shown me the power of getting the word out and the great outpouring of support and spirit of humanity.
So please take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read the story below because it could happen to you or someone you know. I am going to give you a brief summary of the story in my words mostly and a little copy paste action.
On Sunday July 3rd, 2011 at about 2:00 am on a fishing boat named the Erik that was somewhere 60-100 miles south off the of San Felipe and 2 miles off Mexico's Baja coast (Keep in mind Mexican Territory). There were 43 people on the boat which comprise of 27 American tourist and 16 crew members on board. So as bad luck has it the boat was hit by a very sudden and violent storm. Just think it's 2:00 am almost pitch black and you are in the middle of a storm at the mercy of mother nature. The boat capsized and to date all except 7 souls have been accounted for.
So there was a huge search and rescue effort (SAR) by the Mexican and U.S. Coast Guard. SAR is usually for 96 hours but through the efforts of all 7 families began an effort to get the SAR extended and it worked. This effort included contacting media, contacting elected officials and finding support from others. Through these efforts the creation of a tools to help the cause and get the word out to the public:
1) The website www.findourfathers.com (This has all the info you will need for the story, updates, fundraisers, status, donations, petitions)
2) Find Our Fathers Facebook Page
3) A blog spot www.findourfathers.blogspot.
4) The Find our Fathers Twitter account
So on Tuesday July 12th the SAR effort was formally terminated. So these 7 men are still missing and keep in mind usually after a search and rescue is over then a recover effort begins. Here is where excuse my English but the sh*t hits the fan and has caused so outrage and shock due to what happens next. So basically the Erik is somewhere around 200+ feet down. So we are in Mexican waters so in order to start a recovery effort we need Mexican government to formally request assistance from the U.S. government since they did not have the resources for a complex dive of this nature. Well Mexico did request help from the U.S. and the request was then routed to the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D.) to formally request resources meaning U.S. divers to be sent to Mexico to search the wreck. Well you would think of course they will approve this its a no brainer we got 7 missing U.S. citizens 2 of which are veterans and my friend's father Gene Leong even has a Purple Heart from his duty in Vietnam. We don't leave our people behind. So the D.O.D formally denied the request on July 12th for the dive........................I know what you are thinking WTF it was our side the U.S. that has failed us which is bullsh*t in my opinion.
So the estimate to do a dive project of this nature is around $300,000 OK really the U.S. government can't spare that much I mean come on we house death row inmates at a cost of up to $92,000 per year but we won't give the families closure on 7 missing U.S. citizens. Also remember they are declared missing currently so this can also put many families into hardship because of legal issues such as Living Trust, a Will, joint accounts, business owned because they nothing can be executed on since they are missing and not declared...... well you know what I mean. So seriously people this makes me sad to be a U.S. citizen for the first time in my life to hear that our government doesn't have the backs of these families. If it was some elected official you know we would be down there with divers already but basically they are saying these 7 souls and their families are not important enough for our resources = $$$. Some one let the D.O.D. know that they should stop following the phrase "greed is good" cause humanity is more important. They paid taxes all their lives and are honest law abiding citizens so where the heck is our tax money going if not to help our own??
OK here is my vested interest in this story. I personally know 2 of the missing men which is Donald Lee and Gene Leong. They are the fathers of friends that I have known since high school and I grew up being friends with their kids who I am good friends with today. Don actually became my uncle in law a few years ago after I was married. It really doesn't hit home when you are watching the news and see something like this on TV till it happens to someone you know or even worse to 2 people you know. Donald and Gene play many roles as husband's, father's, grandfather's brother's, friend's, and mentor's depending on who you are. They are good kind hearted men that always wanted to help people so lets do these 7 men justice and try to bring them home or have a dive to investigate what happened to them.
So this is the current status of what Find Our Fathers has as goals to accomplish and both goals are of equal priority.
- With the support of many; family, friends and even strangers; many fund raising events are being coordinated to cover the cost of a self-funded dive expedition (estimated to be $300,000). See website for details on events or how to donate
- Urge the Department of Defense or any other entity in government to get a dive approved. If you go to the website on the upper left corner of the home page there is a electronic petition or if you would like additional info or a hard copy template to print please select "spread the word" under the "How you can help" area on the home page of Findourfathers.com
The entire goal of this email weather you receive this via work email, personal email, facebook, or attached to a pigeon is lets all help get the word out there to as many people as you think is possible. Please feel free to forward my email to anyone who you think will assist doesn't matter if it's just signing the petition but the more people that know the better and if we are based on a democracy then let the people be heard. So yes I am using the power of the web to spread the word for my friends and their families because just imagine it could have happened to any of us. If we can't depend on the government then fine, I know we can depend on hearts of people.
If you can assist with any of these items below we would greatly appreciate it:
1) Sign the petition electronic on the home page or use the templates provided in the websitewww.findourfathers.com
2) Show your support by donating or coming to a fund raising event if you are in the area. There is a donation link also on the website
3) Spread the word!! Send this message to anyone that you think will listen it is a honorable cause and tell them to keep spreading the message. My hope is that in the end this message that I am sending will eventually reach thousands of people and those people know tens of thousands of people you know chain reaction. Use whatever means you think will help the cause. Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Text, phone, or even smoke signals.
4) If you have ideas on how to help the cause or fund raise or know any business that would be helpful to the cause please let me know. Every little bit helps at this point.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you can help with the cause. It is amazing what people are capable of when others need help it's the kindness of all who have helped so far and those to help in the future that bring hope and strength to these seven families and public awareness is currently our strongest tool at hand. "Hope gives us strength" a quote from Find Our Fathers cause. So that is the story........so far
Gene J. Leong
"And knowing is half the battle"