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David Ramsey and Stephen Amell honored by US Military Soldiers at ‘Heroes and Villains Fan Fest’

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest is one of those conventions where it is more than just what celebrities are there, how many Pop! figures you can score and who has got the most insane cosplay on the floor. It is one of those conventions where it is entirely about the fans, for the fans. Never have I been to a convention where there was such a positive, and up-beat environment. Essentially, this con feels like home to me. Not only have the volunteers, staff, and celebrity guest been absolutely friendly – they’ve been amazing.

One of the several amazing factors about this convention, is how personable and interactive the celebrity guests are with their fans. That is why two fans in particular took up an amazing opportunity to give back to some of these actors that mean so much to them. At two separate Heroes and Villains conventions (Portland and New York/New Jersey), actors Stephen Amell and David Ramsey were presented with honors by members of the United States Military.

One of them, was me.

To me, Arrow is just more than just a show to ‘fangirl’ over and to watch and write about weekly. It was something that saved my life, but that is another story for another day. Whether branch that you are in, or whether you are Active, Reserve or National Guard – the life of a Soldier can be quite lonely and even crazy at times. We take pride in doing what we do, and we in return, honor those who inspire us. Both David Ramsey and Stephen Amell have done that!

Stephen, for portraying great strength even in the toughest of times – showing us that no matter what life throws at you… don’t ever stop fighting. David, for displaying the role of an honorary Soldier who is committed to serving his country with fortitude, honor and personal courage even in the toughest of times.

This past weekend, I attended Heroes and Villains. I knew exactly what I wanted to do – to present David Ramsey with a challenge coin that was given to me by my previous commander. I’m not going to lie, I was incredibly nervous!

What is a challenge coin, may you ask?

Traditionally, a ‘challenge coin’ is presented by US Military Commanders or Leadership to an individual Soldier as a special achievement for displaying the Army Values. They are awarded to a Soldier for displaying fortitude, honor, personal courage and duty to ones country. This is a high honor to all military members, across the country.

Having the opportunity to present David Ramsey was an incredible honor. Seeing David portray this character who still runs on honor courage, all while displaying amazing leadership (despite what has happened to him in the past) has truly inspired me… and has made a better Solider – or better Officer, rather- than I ever was before.

 

I was not the only one who felt as though a member from Team Arrow displayed great courage, and also was worthy of the same military honor. During Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in Portland, another Soldier presented Stephen Amell with a challenge coin as well.

Thank you, Stephen and David. Thank you for inspiring Soldiers all across the world. We are truly blessed to have been given the amazing opportunity to thank you for all that you have done to inspire and forge us all to be better leaders!

 

Arrow will return on October 12th, at 9PM/EST.

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Julia Valenti

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Julia recently
published her first novel, titled;
Anomic. She has a B.A in Communications with
concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations.
She is also in the
United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree. Some of her hobbies include fangirling, writing, cosplaying with her groups ‘Emerald Archers’ and ‘DC Cosplayers East’, hiking and training her German Shepherd, Soot.

You can frequently find her at conventions cosplaying as Black Canary or as Hawkgirl with her boyfriend, who does Hawkman and Bane. :)