Combat Vet and Artist Seek Adventure

Hello friends, family, and kind strangers!

Evan and I share a pretty unique history- we met on YouTube, believe it or not. He was a soldier about to deploy, I was a songwriter and artist moving into a new city. We decided to become pen-pals after he asked me to play one of his favorite songs- Colder Weather, by the Zac Brown Band. Fast forward a year of emails filled with highs and lows like you wouldn't believe, and we finally met one magical day that started with morning coffee, blossomed over a trip to various windy beaches in Massachusetts, and ended with a midnight talk on a swing set by my old apartment. Another year later and we find ourselves living together in El Paso, Texas where he is finishing up the final months of his contract with the army.

Both of us are incredibly hard workers- I work a day job as well as paint and sell my original artworks in attempts to save a bit of cash and Evan gets up at 4:30 AM every morning to make it out to the base for the work day. The two of us do our best but still we don't make enough to pocket much in the way of savings. This is why we turn to this amazing website and the generosity of our loved ones as well as those we don't know who like to help fund dreams. Evan has never been anywhere outside of the U.S. other than Afghanistan. Neither of us have ever traveled anywhere together. This April we pack our bags, say goodbye to Texas and drive back to Boston to store our things before we (and here's the big dream) fly to THAILAND to see a beautiful part of the world and celebrate one final hurrah training for a month at the Tiger Muay Thai facilities in Phuket with a few of Evan's brothers from the service.

How did we get involved in Muay Thai? A good friend of Evan's- a fellow soldier and professional fighter- offered to train us together on Saturday mornings (it helps keep his technique fresh.) It was as simple as that! We jumped at the chance to stay fit and try something new and we both loved the challenge. Forget the repetitive treadmill! Give us boxing gloves, a punching bag and jump rope drills! The friends we made in those small classes are the friends we hope to travel with.

This may be our last chance for adventure with Evan's brothers in combat before before we all drift to separate corners of the U.S, before couples have children, or we are tied to careers or schools. To get to the heart of it for me personally, however, I want Evan to be able to see another side of the world that's full of life and beauty and that inspires health and balance. As you can imagine, Afghanistan did not offer such a world view.

To give you an idea of the costs I've broken it down-

Flight- $1600 (x2)= $3200
Training- $300 (x2)= $600
Housing- $400 (1 month)
Food- $400 (1 month plan)
TOTAL- $4,600

Any savings we do currently possess will be going to costs enabling our move back home to Boston. And so, if you would like to help us make this dream become a reality we would not only be eternally grateful, but we'd promise to provide video updates of our adventures, training progress, and potentially duets on my YouTube channel! Please consider helping us get out there and see more of this lovely world... And now I conclude with what Evan and I would say during those long hard months while he was deployed-

May you stay safe, dreaming, and hopeful.

Lots of love,
Emily and Evan

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Emily Schonberg 
El Paso, TX
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