“LOVE AND FAITH ARE REALLY GREAT MEDICINE.” >PEACE WARRIOR- AN ARTICLE BY SHANE GIBSON

December 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Posted in General Troop Support, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I found this article,  “Original post on Trevor Greene by his co-author Shane Gibson“. ( http://www.closingbigger.net/2008/12/captain-trevor-greene-peace-warrior-co-author/ )  

I think Shane did an outstanding  job of writing about his beloved friend Cpt. Trevor Greene .  I related to the ‘life lessons’ he  has been blessed with as a result of knowing Trevor & his wife Debbie.  I found myself humbled, inspired and once again forever changed by the amazing love, faith, courage, strength and determination of  this incredible couple ….I’m sure you will be too.  

(Thank you Shane for sharing)

      

Captain Trevor Greene – Peace Warrior – Co-author

I’m sitting here at Blenz Coffee in Yale Town just 15 meters from where I had my last drink with Captain Trevor Greene before he headed to Afghanistan to take part in what was then coined “Operation Archer.”  I met Trevor through my cousin Robyn Gibson who went to Kings College with him many many moons ago.  A lot of people ask how tow seemingly very different people ended up writing a book together about multi-million-dollar deal makers.

Shane Gibson and Trevor Greene October 25th 2005

As most of my stories start, it began with Guinness and good times.  I tipped several pints over several nights with Trevor and Robyn and we formed a friendship.  Eventually I asked Trevor to help me as a Ghost Writer for my book ( later named “Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals”) yet after a few weeks of working with him his in depth of experience as a real crime reporter, Bloomberg business writer, and all around brilliant guy, I asked Trevor if he would be co-author with me instead of just a writer in the background.  At that time I had the first glimpse of this gentle warrior genius and I knew that I wanted to share more adventures, successes and creative moments with him.

It soon came to pass after many months and some great mentoring by people like Dr. Denis Cauvier and my father Bill Gibson that the book was ready for market. Trevor and I liked to celebrate a good day of writing with a a few pints after work.  We calculated that “Closing Bigger” took 386 pints to write. Not bad. We should have had more Guinness and written the sequel too.  All joking aside, in the year we worked together sided by side we forged a great relationship, and for the first time in a very long time I had found a business partner that I could completely trust, COMPLETELY.

So it was with great sorrow and angst ( I hope I hid it well ) that I bid Trevor farewell from the Yaletown brewing company in Vancouver, gave him a big hug (wasn’t something we did normally) and watched him walk out the door.  It’s the last time I witnessed him walk.  He as a reservist turned full time military officer he was heading to Afghanistan to emancipate those without a voice. Trevor dreamed of fresh water, young girls with access to education, and renewing hope for those who had lived under tyranny, ignorance, and war for decades.

Three months later; just before 7:00 am in early March 2006 my phone rang.  The call displayed “Gregory Kirkpatrick” a mutual friend and rugby buddy of Trevor’s and mine from the Vancouver Rowing Club.  I knew it could only be one thing. Trevor Greene.

“Trevor’s been hit in the head, he might not make it, he was ambushed”

I originally thought he had been shot in the head. I later learned that while meeting with some village elders in a small town attempting to find out what rebuilding they needed (schools, infrastructure etc.) he was “Brained, LITERALLY” (as Trevor describes it) with an axe to the head by a deranged young man.  The axe literally chopped part of his skull and brain in half, leaving bone, blood and gray matter on the ground.  They all thought he was dead. The young man that hit him was riddled with bullets and died before he hit the ground. ( You can read more about the incident here )

That morning was for me the lowest emotional point of my life. We had built a friendship, a brotherhood, and a dream together and now it was taken away from me, from him, from Debbie and little Grace.  I woke my wife up sobbing, wailing actually.  I had held people while they died, I even while living in Africa witnessed up close an execution/gun fight in front of the Hard Rock Café in Johannesburg of all places, but nothing in my past compared to this.

I was angry, I should have done more to make him stay.  I should have made him quit.  This angst spread into a low level numbness that lasted months.

Back to Trevor: First he had to stabilize, then they would fly him to a US Military hospital in Germany where they would operate on him.  While I was full of sorrow and a healthy dose of self pity Debbie Lepore, Trevor’s Fiancée was arriving in Germany and about to begin an incredible journey with Trevor.

They told her that he might not live, and if he did, he probably wouldn’t wake up.  If he did wake up, he would be a vegetable.  Debbie simply replied “You don’t know Trevor.”  This would become her mantra. Their mantra.  No one had ever come back from this, there is no medical case history. Once a Doctor told her to put him in long term care and get one with her life. “You don’t know Trevor” she replied

Experts defined: Ex= “a has been” Spirt= “a drip under pressure.” The problem with these people is they attempt to measure the infinite with finite tools.  As much as Trevor’s story is about a hero and a warrior it is one about infinite love and faith.  That cannot be measured by indoctrinated “group thinkers.”

“He will not wake up”
He woke up.
“He will be a vegetable”
He responded and was aware
“He will not talk”
He talked
“He will not survive several bouts of pneumonia”
He healed, he survived
“He will not have use of his limbs, he will not be able to move on his own”
He now can feed himself, he can now push his own wheelchair and sometimes if he’s really motivated he can tip his own beer.
“But he will not walk again.”
YOU DON’T KNOW TREVOR

I visited Trevor and Debbie in the hospital several times when he was in Alberta.  One trip I visited and he according to others was just coming out of a depression of sorts. (I worked with him, and we’re both moody at the best of times!)  I asked him why the positive change? What happened? Why had his progress rapidly increased all of a sudden?

In his own words to me:

I forgave my attacker, you can’t hate and heal at the same time.

Love heals. Love creates abundance. Give what you most want. If you want love, give it. If you want respect, give it. If you want peace, give peace.

Peace Warriors Airs Today at 7pm on CTVIn the documentary about Trevor Greene and Debbie Lepore that airs today at 7pm PST on CTV here in Canada (done by an amazing woman Sue Ridout) Trevor answers a question and his answer is something that stuck to me, permeated my being.

The question was “Trevor do you have dreams about what happened?”  Trevor answers “Yes.  I’m in Afghanistan, I’m sitting in the village where I was attacked, I am talking to the boy that attacked me, and I tell him, I’m sorry, I’m sorry that my friend killed you, I was there in uniform in your home, with a weapon.”

Many people think it’s too late to change, to change their lifestyle, to change their habits, to learn new things.   At 41/42 years old Trevor has been able to rewire his brain, retrain his Nero system, and rewire the brains of anyone who is influenced by Trevor and Debbie.

Trevor and Debbie, their story, and their friendship has changed me forever.  I feel blessed to know these two heroes, these two healers.  Some of the lessons that I have been blessed with as a result are:

  • Trust your heart not the experts
  • One person is a majority not a statistic
  • You can’t hate and heal at the same time, so make up your mind
  • Love and faith are really great medicine
  • See the miracle in every moment you spend with those you love
  • Tell them how much they mean to you sooner than later
  • With faith, focus, and follow-through anyone can create massive positive change in their life, in their body, and in their community.

==========================================

December 14th Update:

Summary in Macleans Magazine of the Documentary on CTV ( W five )

Video Trevor Greene “Peace Warrior” You can now watch parts of the documentary on CTV.ca

Captain Trevor Greene Peace Warrior Video, Debbie Lepore

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Forever Grateful>

December 27, 2008 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Found on ” A Soldier’s Mind”  original post “For Your Today They Gave Their Tomorrow”

Honoring Heroes-This Year’s Recipient of “Defender of Freedom Award” to an individual whose character, courage and selfless deeds inspire virtuous service from the rest of us, U.S. Marine Lieutenant Andrew Kinard”

December 26, 2008 at 10:21 pm | Posted in General Troop Support | Leave a comment
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Washington, D.C. —  Freedom Alliance is an educational-charitable foundation that, among other things, provides college scholarships to the offspring of U.S. military personnel killed in action. Every year, coincident with the Army-Navy Game, the organization presents its “Defender of Freedom Award” to an individual whose character, courage and selfless deeds inspire virtuous service from the rest of us. This year’s recipient, U.S. Marine Lieutenant Andrew Kinard unequivocally meets these criteria.

Photo, Caption Below

On October 29, 2006, Lieutenant Kinard was leading his Marines on a foot patrol in Rawah, Iraq — searching for a terrorist bomb factory — when a command-detonated IED exploded directly next to his left leg. The blast blew him into the air and he landed almost 20 feet from the crater. Three other Marines were wounded.

• Catch the ‘War Stories Classic: Prisoners of the Rising Sun,’ Mon., December 8 at 3 a.m. ET

According to those who were there, before the grievously injured officer passed out from loss of blood, he ordered them to set up security, get a head count and start treating the other injured Marines. The platoon Corpsman tried to staunch the flow of blood, but couldn’t find enough undamaged tissue to apply tourniquets and the lieutenant was losing blood — from almost everywhere.

A Cas-Evac helicopter airlifted him to the Marine Air Base at Al Asad, then to the Army trauma hospital at Balad, north of Baghdad. Sixty-seven pints of whole blood — more than five times the amount in a healthy adult — were pumped into the failing officer’s veins in a 24-hour period.

 

By the time he was flown to Landstuhl, Germany in a C-17 Nightingale, he had gone into cardiac arrest — and been resuscitated — twice. Emergency surgeries went on nearly non-stop to plug the seemingly innumerable holes punched in his body. The family was alerted and a prayer vigil held. Hundreds of people half a world away went to their knees and begged God for a miracle.

Some miracles happen immediately. This one took awhile.

Four days after being blasted to pieces, Andrew Kinard was in the intensive care unit at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, with his family around his bedside — and still praying. By the time I got back from Iraq, just before Christmas 2006, “Drew” as his Marine and Naval Academy friends call him, had already endured more than two dozen surgeries.

His doctor told me that the 24-year old lieutenant was “getting better” even though he had pneumonia, a blood infection and multiple perforations of his intestines from shrapnel. They had just done one of the many skin grafts necessary to prepare his stumps for prosthetic limbs.

When I walked into his room, his mother and his sister Katherine were with him. His dad, a doctor in Spartanburg, SC, and two younger siblings, Courtney and Will, were all enroute to spend Christmas with their badly battered Marine.

But for all the cards, poster, banners, Christmas stockings, lights, photos and flags, the room would have looked like a scene from a science fiction movie. Monitors, electronic devices, compressors, pumps and assorted tubes, wires and bags of colored fluids surrounded the bed — all the connected to Andrew Kinard. Tiny flecks of shrapnel were still visible on the side of his face. He had no legs. His abdomen was an open hole. And he was smiling. “God is good,” he said in greeting.

Over the next 11 months of hospitalization, Andrew Kinard was living proof of that statement. When I would ask him or his family, “How can I help you?” The inevitable response would be: “Just pray for recovery.” And so, he also became evidence of the power of prayer.

In April 2007, he flew to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to meet his Marines when they returned from Iraq. Wearing his Marine utility uniform for the first time since being wounded, he greeted his comrades in a special “all-terrain” wheelchair.

Asked by a reporter to recollect the day he was wounded, he acknowledged that his memory of the attack had been dulled by shock and pain. Then he said, “A man asks himself, if something happens to me, when I go into battle, how will I react? Will I be brave?”

As they arrived home, the members of “Alpha” Company made it clear: Lieutenant Andrew Kinard was, without a doubt, their hero.

On October 29, 2007, exactly a year after he was wounded, the indomitable young officer came home. Dignitaries and thousands of well wishers were on hand to welcome Andrew at First Baptist Church, Spartanburg. The following Sunday he spoke at all three services, thanking all for their unfailing prayers.

His recovery will continue for years to come. But on one of my visits to him in the hospital the man who had once played rugby at the Naval Academy said, “I don’t need legs. I have my arms. I learned discipline at the Naval Academy. I have my faith and a desire to serve. Maybe I’ll go to law school.”

Andrew has all of that — and more. He also has a great sense of humor. He has a T-shirt with the words “Marine for Sale” printed on the front. On the back it reads: “40% Off — Some Assembly Required.”

— Oliver North hosts War Stories on FOX News Channel and is the author of the new best-seller, “American Heroes: In The War Against Radical Islam.” He has just returned from assignment in Afghanistan.

Holiday Decorating at the Fisher Houses

December 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Thank you to those who were able to come out and help for these Events. It was a lovely opportunity to meet some of the families and also other Washington angels!

Soldiers Angels were busy decorating the Puget Sound Fisher House

Beautiful 

Cecile Bagrow (manager of FH), FH Guest, Soldiers Angels KT Layton and Jewell Morelli on the ladder

Cecile Bagrow (manager of FH), FH Guest, Soldiers’ Angels KT Layton and JM on the ladder

All Decorated including little army bear ornaments!

All Decorated including little army bear ornaments!

Soldiers Angel KT, hard at work!

Soldier’s Angel KT, hard at work!

This was one of many little Christmas Trees Soldiers Angel Tracy decorated!

This was one of many little Christmas Trees Soldier’s Angel Tracy decorated!

The beginnings of a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree for Ft. Lewis Fisher House

The beginnings of a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree for Ft. Lewis Fisher House. Thanks to Staff Nikki & Aimee, and Soldiers’ Angel Sammi Morelli

Deb working hard at the Ft. Lewis Fisher House Holiday Decorating

Deb working hard at the Ft. Lewis Fisher House Holiday Decorating

The Final Touch! Thanks Sammi!

The Final Touch! Thanks Sammi!

The Finished Product!

The Finished Product!

A work in progress on the outside thanks to the Walmart Ladies & the wreaths done by Soldiers Angels

A work in progress on the outside thanks to the Walmart Ladies & the wreaths done by Soldiers Angels

The Walmart Ladies...almost done with the outdoor Decorating of the Ft. Lewis Fisher House.

It was fun to join with others in the community to decorate the Ft. Lewis Fisher House for the holidays.  Here are the Walmart Ladies in the midst of working hard on the outside of the Fisher House!

Meet Sam & Erin…then be prepared to be Inspired

December 25, 2008 at 4:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I received a lovely thank you and Christmas greeting from Tony Neria, father in law to Sgt. Samuel Nichols USMC, who was severely injured by an IED explosion which saw four other Marines killed.

“Thank you so much Julie for your constant support and prayers. And thank you to all the Soldier’s Angels for the work you do. What an incredible organization—the name of your group says it all!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,
Tony and Julie”

I‘ve been following the Blog Tony and Eric (Sam’s father) have kept updated since Sam was wounded, and they (Sam, Erin, Tony, Eric and families) never cease to inspire and teach me about love, faith, courage and so much more. They have been an appreciated resource for issues concerning Veterans, the wounded and Traumatic Brain Injuries. I know many of you send your continued support and prayers to families of our wounded and know just what I speak of….they are incredible.

I encourage you all to go and meet Sam, Erin, Tony, Eric & Families. Let them know you are a Soldiers Angel. Send them your support and prayers, then be prepared to be inspired.

Sam & Erin = faith, love, hope, courage, determination

Sam & Erin = faith, love, hope, courage, determination

The Christmas Wish

December 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Posted in General Troop Support | Leave a comment
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POSTED BY BLACKFIVEPickler_hires_081219n0696m394American Idol contestant and country musician Kellie Pickler grants a Christmas wish for a kiss to U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Christopher Lambert at the 2008 USO Holiday Tour stop at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2008.    DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley.

Before they were at Al Asad, Iraq, the USO tour of Kid Rock, Kellie Pickler, Lewis Black, Tichina Arnold, Zac Brown, Kathleen Madigan, John Bowman and more were at Kandahar, Afghanistan.

…“In case of a rocket attack, let’s do what we always do – hit the ground and count to 100,” Army Brig. Gen. John Nicholson, deputy commanding general for stability at Regional Command South, told the audience here. “If it continues, the performers will leave, and you will leave to take shelter. But when the all-clear sounds, they will come back and you will come back, and they’ll pick up where they left off.”

The full story is after the Jump.

No Fancy Venues, But the USO Stars Rock
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Dec. 17, 2008 – This year’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USO Holiday Tour has played at an aircraft hangar in Germany, in a maintenance facility and in an in-processing facility here in Afghanistan.

The tour’s stars — Kid Rock, Kellie Pickler, Lewis Black, Tichina Arnold, Zac Brown, Kathleen Madigan and John Bowman — have played far more prestigious venues, but probably none as appreciative. And their usual audiences generally don’t get this warning:

“In case of a rocket attack, let’s do what we always do – hit the ground and count to 100,” Army Brig. Gen. John Nicholson, deputy commanding general for stability at Regional Command South, told the audience here. “If it continues, the performers will leave, and you will leave to take shelter. But when the all-clear sounds, they will come back and you will come back, and they’ll pick up where they left off.”

The performers rocked at every show. U.S. troopsand their allies got world-class entertainment under challenging conditions. Joint Chiefs Chairman Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said the performers are national treasures who came for the purpose of saying thanks to the servicemembers, and giving them a little touch of America.

Kid Rock worked his appreciation for the servicemembers into his “If I Were President” blues song. He told them, “As long as you are out here, you can count on me to keep coming back.”

In the middle of Kathleen Madigan’s performance in Kandahar, the all-clear siren sounded. She wasn’t sure what the siren meant, but she kept right on with her bit, incorporating it seamlessly into her comedy.

The comedians kept the audiences roaring, and servicemembers sang along with Kid Rock’s, Kellie Pickler’s and Zac Brown’s songs.

“It was freaking awesome,” said Army Spec. John Barnett, who saw the show at Forward Operating Base Sharana in Paktika Province. “Not too many people come out here – it really is the middle of nowhere — so we all really appreciate it.”

“These guys could be having fun back with their families – it is the holiday season,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Annette Gant, who caught the show here. “Instead, they are with us. We can’t thank them enough.”

Mullen told servicemembers at every stop that he appreciates their sacrifices and those of their families.

“Thank you for volunteering at a very crucial time in our nation’s history,” he said. “Thank you for all you do for our country and for the people of Afghanistan.”

In an interview later, Mullen said the universal comment from servicemembers when he meets them is an expression of thanks for bringing the entertainers to perform for them.

“It’s something that they will remember for life, and I hope that as the years go by they remember and do something for USO,” he said.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR VETERANS,THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO SACRIFICE AND SERVE TO KEEP OUR WORLD SAFE AND FREE AND ALL OF THEIR FAMILIES!! WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL AND ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Operation Adopt a Puget Sound Vet/Fisher House Family Fill a Stocking!

December 22, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses | 1 Comment
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Help bring a little holiday Cheer to our Puget Sound Hospitalized Veterans and Fisher House Families

Help bring a little holiday Cheer to our Puget Sound Hospitalized Veterans and Fisher House Families

OPERATION ADOPT A VET DELIVERY POSTPONED PLZ READ

December 21, 2008 at 2:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Due to Extreme Winter Weather Conditions, our Organizing Day and Delivery Dates have been postponed.  CURRENT STATE OF ROADS If you are an angel that was going to come to our organizing event with blankets, stockings and other donations, please hold on to them and stay on standby. It looks like the weather is against us until after Christmas but as soon as the rain hits we will be good to Go!

Don’t despair…even though it may seem a little odd to be giving CHristmas Cards and Stockings after the fact, the Veterans and Fisher House Families will still appreciate them. Believe me! Our visits are what is most important. You have all done a great job at bringing in donations for this… The Veterans and families are going to be so overwhelmed by the generosity and care. We’ve become a stronger team because of this campaign and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Stay tuned for An update for a new date for the organizing and delivery of our donations. You can email me (Julie) at soldiersangelswashington@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

Send a Holiday Message to the troops!

December 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Send a holiday message to the troops on Moment of Thanks. Let’s give our family serving abroad some cheer and send them a message or a photo to put a smile on their faces…and let them know we’re thinking about them this holiday season. Go to Moment of Thanks and share.

Cup of Joe for a Joe

December 10, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Soldiers’ Angels supports Green Beans Coffee!

Green Beans Coffee Introduces CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE

Now, anyone can send his or her own special message of thanks to a soldier serving far from home with a CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 17, 2008

Larkspur, California – For over ten years, and in more than 65 cafes throughout the Middle East, Africa, Southwest Asia and North America, Green Beans Coffee has provided a welcomed moment of respite where deployed services members can relax, enjoy premium organic coffees, teas and fresh baked pastries, hear great music and for a few minutes, escape into a peaceful oasis of tranquility that brings a little bit of home with every cup of coffee served.

Now, with the introduction of CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE, Green Beans Coffee is giving everyone an opportunity to express their support for our men and women in uniform through the simple act of buying a cup of premium organic coffee and having it delivered along with their own personalized message of thanks to a soldier serving overseas.

For little more than the spare change in one’s pocket plus a few minutes of time, visitors to www.greenbeanscoffee.com can brighten the day and send a little bit of home to a soldier deployed overseas. And in keeping with its continued commitment of service to our troops, Green Beans Coffee will contribute a portion of every purchase for CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE to worthy service organizations that support disabled soldiers, military families and young Americans.

According to Jason Araghi, CEO of Green Beans Coffee Company, the Cup of Joe For A Joe program touches on one of the fundamental principals of Green Beans Coffee and its core values:

“Green Beans Coffee was founded in 1996 with the mission that every soldier and civilian serving their country away from home deserves a morale boost and an improvement in their quality of life. Our cafes have become a haven to get away from the stresses of the environment they are in, even if it’s for only fifteen minutes a day. Supporting these men and women, we believe, is patriotic and apolitical.”

Araghi goes on to say that during World War II, in excess of twelve percent of the American public personally knew a soldier that was serving. Today, it’s estimated that only about one percent of Americans know a soldier or civilian serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Cup of Joe for a Joe program aims to bridge that gap. This is an opportunity for anyone that supports our troops around the world to reach out, send a message of thanks, and for as little as $2.00, make a difference in a soldier’s day.

Green Beans Coffee invites everyone to join in honoring our troops. To send your own CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE, visit us online at www.greenbeanscoffee.com. And remember, it only takes a few moments, plus the spare change in your pocket, to express your support and send your own personalized message of thanks to a soldier serving far from home.

About GREEN BEANS COFFEE COMPANY:

GREEN BEANS COFFEE COMPANY, headquartered in Larkspur, California, owns and operates cafes at military posts in North America and throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia and Africa. Green Beans has a unique relationship with, and dedication to, the troops of the United States military. In over 65 cafes worldwide, Green Beans Coffee offers the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces the highest quality organic coffee and tea beverages in an inviting environment where soldiers can relax and feel at home. Green Beans is also committed on a national level to giving back to the community and contributes a portion of every sale to support organizations that strive to improve life for disabled soldiers, military families and young Americans.

Media Contact Clay Lingo, VP Global Retail & Internet Marketing, office 415.461.4023, clay@greenbeanscoffee.com

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