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Hey, everybody, hope you had a great week. We enjoyed delivering instant news about the Democrat National Convention straight to you all week. Please go back in the archives from just this last week and a half and please dive deep at some of the best episodes we've ever done. Listen to one or two episodes. Send them to your friends and email us your questions. Always at Freedom at Charlie Cook Dotcom yesterday. It was a tough day for me. I gave the eulogy at my mentors memorial in Lamonts, Illinois, Bill Montgomery, without him, there would be no turning point USA.

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So for this weekend's episode on Saturday here, I just wanted to share what I shared with. His family, some of his closest friends and our staff, a turning point, USA. I hope you'll enjoy it and I hope you'll be able to take some lessons away from hell. Bill Montgomery impacted my life and so many other lives. And if you feel compelled to do so. Help support what he cared most about turning point, USA, USA, dot com, please enjoy this eulogy that I gave for my friend Bill Montgomery.

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Here it is, Charlie, what you've done is incredible here.

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Maybe Charlie Kirk is on the college campus. I want you to know we are lucky to have Charlie Charlie Kirk's run in the White House. I want to thank Charlie is an incredible guy, his spirit, his love of this country. He's done an amazing job building one of the most powerful youth organizations ever created, Turning Point USA. We will not embrace the ideas that have destroyed countries, destroyed lives, and we are going to fight for freedom on campuses across the country.

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That's why we are here.

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Thank you, Brad. That was terrific. So you can see a constant theme today of people that needed to be believed in families that were formed. Literally two marriages that we know of just today. Thanks to Bill, Bill was a creator. He was somebody that wanted to lift up anyone who came in contact with. So I'm going to share just some of my favorite stories with Bill, talk about the legacy that is still going on today thanks to Bill and what he was really and truly passionate about.

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Some of you have heard these stories before, but some of them are pretty awesome.

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I have to say, they make it what what Bill did for me and for this country was incredible. So I first met Bill on April 17th, 2012. You see more so than almost anyone else. When people talk about Bill, they almost know the exact minute they met him. They know exactly what they were doing. That's how you know, that somebody special and sometimes I got to really know how I met that person. Everyone almost always like, you know, I met him right there.

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And it's just. His uniform almost never changed, I use that word uniform because it was very unique, a turning point pen, eventually, Starbucks coffee, of course, heavy whipping cream to splendors. I think I got that right. A smile that kind of just made you stop in your tracks, I think that's such a beautiful picture that captures it. I don't think I ever saw Bill Montgomery wear a t shirt. I think that it was always a blazer and one of these ties, this was actually one of his favorite ties.

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Very interesting looking, colourblind, thin eyeglasses.

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He went through a phase where he wore thicker eyeglasses than he went back to the thinner ones hand shoes, which I think we're all honoring correctly tonight. Comfortable shoes, the latest watch or I watch of some sort.

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He had more gadgets than I think he even could properly catalog an iPad, of course, in one hand and iPhone probably in his pocket here, another iPhone and probably the pocket right here.

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A pocketful of business cards, he would have his right right here and don't know the correct term, just as many business cards as you could imagine to just give out June 3rd, 2012, we we went to CPAC, Chicago, and Bill had cut out these little handmade business cards so that Newbill he loved doing his own printing. Right. So he had the little and it just was very simplistic. Charlie Kirk. And I just think we called it the turning point.

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Just so you know, that was the original name was the turning point. We obviously rebranded it from there. And then on June 5th of 2012, I called him.

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I'll never forget where I was. And I said, Bill, I think I actually want to do this thing for a couple of months. And any other human being would have come up with a ninety two thousand reasons why this was a bad idea. You've no experience if no money, you've no connections, you're just out of high school. No one's going to take you seriously, none of that even just like was not even just on the radar screen, it was quite honestly, it was probably the Holy Spirit, whereas, like I've been waiting for you to call, it was like almost like, yeah, I've been waiting for this.

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It's of like he saw this whole thing playing out, whether consciously or is just for those of you that believe in a higher power, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

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And he's like, let's go. What do we do? It's like, just go. It's like, I'll drive.

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And you talk like what we did. And I think that the the lack of understanding of what we were doing is hard to articulate. Right. We would just show up at Tea Party rallies, Susan Padi being one of them, and we would just show up at an event unscheduled. And Bill would go right up to the organizer 30 seconds before the event and he'd say, I got a speaker for you. And they said, who are you just.

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And you sit them down. He said, this kid, all these things. And always I was always embarrassed. I like Bill Comice, like not just trust me. Just just let me always embarrass.

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I couldn't honestly, looking back, I know exactly who was doing it, but I, I couldn't I just did not like it. Right. But he would just go on and on and on and they'd say, OK, we'll give him two minutes. So he'd go to Tea Party, the Tea Party. We would just go on the Tea Party website and to show up. And then all of a sudden they're like, oh, maybe we'll let this kid speak a little bit longer, maybe a little bit longer.

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Next thing you know, we would raise like three hundred dollars. Right. Like, well, we have enough to kind of almost do a bank account, you know, almost.

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And we just started to meet Bill's friends. We met Bob Bunda. We met so many people across Lamont. So that summer was very interesting. But every day it was. Insanely positive from Bill, no matter what was happening, I had a great I have a great way to describe Bill and he never said this, but it's so true. It's like. The best thing about being surrounded is you could shoot in any direction, like that's exactly how Bill viewed life, right?

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Doesn't matter. What's happening is there's nothing but opportunities around you. Right.

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It's perfect. So on July 4th of that summer, I got on FOX, we started to get a little bit more notoriety. And then Bill called me in late July with this crazy idea.

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And it's it's this next week would have been eight years ago exactly where it was the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. I don't know what a convention was. I thought it was like a hockey game where you could just buy tickets. And StubHub, I think Bill shared that belief. But doesn't matter if these are just obstacles, you just go through them, right? That's what you do. Tickets, who cares? We'll just go. So Bill said, let's go down to Tampa, Florida.

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I said, What do you mean? So I will just figure it out so I'll never forget. He sent me the Expedia itinerary. We were staying in Siesta Key. If you know anything about Tampa. Geographe Siesta Key is like an hour. Forty five minutes from Tampa. But Bill's like, I love to drive. We'll get up early and we'll go up there. OK, you know, Bill, you know exactly the type of experience I'm describing.

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So we land the first days of hurricane. I know if you remember that literally a hurricane hit Tampa, Florida.

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We go down to Siesta Key at a DaiShin. And this bill would never tell the story, but he was having trouble that week. Medically, he never let me know about it. He actually I found about this months later, he checked himself into the emergency room, solve the issue like three o'clock in the morning and came back in time to make sure that I had this coffee I needed to drive me back up, never knew about. And so that's the type of guy that he was.

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So we would hang around the republic, would hang around the Republican convention again. All I had was like these homemade business cards from Bill's basement. The turning point. We finally change the turning point USA.

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And so bill to every 20 minutes was just throwing ideas at me. Right. And I it's just a natural state of being to challenge. That is when you just get it nonstop, you just can't you have to, like, be somewhat contrary. You're like, OK, well, maybe this is not going to work. No, we're going to meet people. We're going to do this. Let's go hang out. We're all the people are hanging out.

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So if you ever been to a convention, it's kind of like a fortified deal. You can't get past a certain barrier without credentials. So I thought you could buy tickets like at StubHub or whatever that idea. But Bill's like, I'll figure it out. We'll get inside. But what do you mean? We'll figure like the second the last day on Wednesday, which would have been four years ago. And we were just sitting in the Hilton. And Bill, it struck up a conversation with somebody and it's articulated in the book, Time for a Turning Point.

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And I went to just go charge my phone or something. And Bill came up to you. So excited, said Charlie. I got us a pass, somebody talking about it got to surpass he's like, we're going to go in right now. I said, OK, so I don't know what kind of barter deal he did with one of my friends named Evan was involved, but we got into the convention. But Bill didn't stop. There was one thing that we're actually in the convention.

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He's like, let's go find Neil Cavuto, because I was on his show a month and a half earlier and we hunted down Neil Cavuto. I'll tell you what. And Bill got Neil and he got them cornered. But he said, Neil, you need to have this young man on this program all the time. And he's like, who are you? You know? And they actually hit it off after, you know, the initial and Neil did.

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He had me on live from the convention, which is valuable space. And it's all because of Bill. And we actually have a picture of Bill and I there. I think it's in one of the things there. So that was a real good kind of launching off point. Early September 2012 went through a really tough time. Something happened in the media that I just was less than pleased with. And Bill didn't let me get down. I actually remember driving to Peoria with him that day.

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He's like, let's go for a road trip. So why? He's like, let's just get it out of our head. So we went down a path and he showed me all the back roads of where he grew up and showed me right by the river and showed me the hill that he, his father raised him and loved s small town America.

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He loved driving the back roads. In fact, sometimes I would make a joke.

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I said, Bill, you're at the Lake House. It's going to take you three and a half hours to get to Lamont because you'd always take the back roads and kind of and it's like half a day experience. But he loved it because I think he liked being in touch with organic America. He just artificial America really bothered him. Right. He wanted to know the stories. He wanted to know the experiences. And so then this is talked about and I, I only mention this because memories sometimes fade.

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I talk about this where I published it five years ago, but there is this moment where I was really done. Like I was like, we're not raising money. We have nine hundred dollars in the account. This was December of 2012 and Bill basically forcibly did not let me quit like that. Says that's that's as aggressive as I've ever seen. Bill was like, you're not doing it. So that Bill's negotiating position was like you're not stopping. Like I was like, well, what do you mean?

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Like we have no success. He's like, not going to happen. It wasn't that like, I'm not going to let it happen. It's like not happening. He's like, you're better than this. Because I was right. It's kind of like close it all up. And this was fun.

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Didn't didn't happen in the slightest. We then took a trip to New York City that we couldn't afford. But Bill said, we're going to go hunt down Neil Cavuto again. I was like, oh, my goodness, the Neil Cavuto thing is true. And so we did. And Bill hunted down Neil Cavuto and got me back on the program and on Stuart Varney. And I still have those relationships to this day. And you guys know it's just snowballed into it.

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It just grew from there and it was this relentless belief in young people. He was so focused on mentoring people that did not have direction. And Brad, you said at the best, it's like he didn't care as much about what his day was going like. You might have forgotten to do something or this is irrelevant. A successful day for him was like, did I make one young person's path a little bit straighter? Like a successful day for him was that I helped somebody figure out more with more clarity of what they're supposed to do with their life.

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That's all he cared about. That's all he cared about. And so we have some of our turning point directors here that had a chance to know him and thank you guys for coming. But he would always be bragging about the success of the organization. And I use that word intentionally because he felt so much pride in it. And he should without him, it doesn't exist. That's a biblical term, nearly out of nothing. It was like breathed into existence.

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Right. And not only that, it wasn't supposed to exist through all of the different challenges. He was relentlessly positive as to what this organization could accomplish. So I called that one encounter the Starbucks on a snowy afternoon.

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I was in Rosemont. It was two.

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It gets dark like one thirty in the afternoon around here, as you well know, it was just one of those unbelievably depressing days, just just ice everywhere. It was awful. And you would have thought it was 85 degrees outside and sunny because Bill was just as chipper as ever. He's like, this is the greatest opportunity. And no matter what happened, no matter what would happen, he said, but you haven't seen the positive yet that could come out of this.

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I'm like, Bill, what is the positive? Come on.

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And it was this incredible thing, right? Because it was a 72 year old and an 18 year old. It's almost poetic, honestly, right, where you have someone who's literally four times older than the principal. And it's it's like the young person is constantly challenging the age of wisdom. Right. And I think it would be incomplete to say that he was flying blind. He wasn't. I think that would be a misinterpretation of what Bill was doing.

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It's as if he had such a gut instinct and a path. He kind of saw all of it. And it wasn't that he was surprised to see the growth of turning point because he would tell me he's like, you don't understand. One day you're going to have staff, you're going to have an office, we're going to do all that. He donated that beautiful garage. It's for office space that we still use to this day right down in downtown Lamonte.

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You guys can drive by after the service to seventeen and a half Illinois Street. And I'll tell you what, that was one of the funniest things. Every time I hear that address, I smile because Bill was so proud of the half. He was so proud of it because it was an opportunity to tell a story. Right. So we'd be in a donor meeting up in Wisconsin or Ohio and they'd say, I'd like to send you some money.

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What's your address? I said, Oh, boy, here we go. And he said, our address is two seventeen and a half Illinois Street. And the secretary would be like, what are you half what is this? Charleston, South Carolina. Right. And so he's like, no, it's a converted garage. If you're ever in Larchmont, I'm going to show you around. In fact, you should move to Lamont lived there and run for mayor.

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And they're like this. I've known you for twenty seconds. Right. And that's the type of guy he was. In fact, I believe he has more of a claim to the mayoral office of Lamont than any other human being. Like no one, no elected official could ever believe in the city of Lamont as much as Bill. But it wasn't it was almost like Lamont was a microcosm of his vision for the country. I drove around in that Thunderbird with him all across the Midwest, did that once, all the way to western Iowa and back.

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And he loves small cars. He loved it. He loved that little race car of his. He loved the Mazda of his. And he had another expression where he used to say all the time, you never know. He always used to say that you never know. And I just think that was so that phrase was so embodied in how he approached every single encounter. It was from a belief that the next thing is going to be better than what we're currently going through right now.

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And we can call that optimistic. I think it's more like hopeful. And I think we have so little of that right now. Like what we're about to go through could be the greatest thing ever. I have the words written down here, optimistic, magnanimous, positive. It's hard to articulate how many lives that he touched. It's it's actually ongoing. That's what the cool thing is, is that it's not actually a temporary. No, in fact, it's going to grow forever.

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Think about that. Like, sometimes when we remember loved ones, we say, well, he touched all these people. Well, that's not we don't know. The fact is he might have touched all of Western civilization without even knowing it. Every speech I give, every chapter that our turning point USA students start every person that graduated from turning point that has been influenced by what we do. It's ongoing. It's as if that light that he shined in the darkness is going through prism after prism after PRISM and millions and millions of people.

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All of this from one guy. It's incredible. Never more than one phone call away. I mean that. And so whether it be three a.m., six a.m. doesn't matter. He would always answer the phone with he always answer the same way. Hello. Oh, is it that kind of he's ready to talk to you, just kind of handing it off to you? It is always pleasant. It was never like, what do you want. Right.

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It was never like, why are you calling me at 2:00 a.m.? It was hello.

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Yes, of course. We'll get that printed. I'll drive you there. I'll deliver the. To your home at four o'clock in the morning, it's like, yeah, what else do you need? The answer was always yes. The question was just in his mind, how is he going to do all of it? His favorite place. Some of our big turning point USA events. We've hosted the most amazing events that he believed that he was always pushing me.

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I'll never forget it. We hosted our first student action summit and Holiday Inn, and we thought we were like the coolest thing. Right? We had three hundred students there. We were in kind of a room smaller than this. I thought it wasn't top of the world.

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And Bill said, But it's just the beginning. Come on, Bill, let me enjoy this. Said No dream bigger, aim higher, think bigger. And I think that my staff is like this.

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So that's where he gets that from. Like, OK, so and the answer is yes.

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But his favorite place at these massive conventions back in December being the greatest example of it, 5000 students, president, vice president, all these incredible people, Rush Limbaugh, Bill, would come in and out for maybe one speaker, but his favorite place at a convention. And all of our staff knew it was in the absolute back of the back of the convention where he would hold court, where he'd just go find a random kid and buy him a rant.

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But I mean random. I mean random. Right. Just as a kid, that's just kind of standing in line, just looks like he's a little passive and Bill would go up like, can I buy a cup of coffee? They have no idea who he is. They have no idea. They don't know if he's a board member. They don't know if he's a speaker or a lecturer. And he's a massive turning point pen. Right. Like the biggest pin ever.

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I think we did many different variations. He always this big, right? He'd sit them down and he just talk active. Listening is Brad, beautifully said, leaning into them. And then at the end of the conversation, and it was never Bill that ended the conversation, it was the student that probably had to go and do it. But Bill never ended the conversation, right? Unless it was something for 80 or so. He enjoyed the process of learning about other people.

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He embodied the biblical principle that every person can teach you something you need to know. He embodied that perfectly. And then while all the music and the lights and the laser beams are going off on the main stage. And ladies and gentlemen, introduce Rush Limbaugh. This bill was pouring into a kid that needed it. And we have received so many emails that turning point of kids that didn't commit suicide because of Bill, people that are living healthy lives because of Bill, people that have their their whole life together, because Bill very well could have been front stage and center at the turning point USA Student Action Summit, looking at what he helped build.

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He could have just been enjoying it. But for him, he was like, that's on autopilot. That's fine. Who else needs me? Well, that's very deep, right?

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Because it's very easy to just be like, oh, yeah, look at this incredible hill we've conquered for him. It was like there's a kid out there that needs to hear something that I can lean into him. Amazing.

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That's where he that's where he was actually most comfortable, to be honest with you. It was he was most comfortable in that intimate setting, leaning into other people. So I hear seven lessons that I think we can derive from Bill that are applicable. And then I'll get into something else, which is, first of all, and this very people say, how do we live on the legacy? I agree with all of that. And one of the things that I can smile that I am very thankful happened was last summer and it was not easy, but we did it where Bill did finally meet President Trump.

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That was something. The pictures right there. And there's actually a picture right there. I'm pointing at Bill and the president smiling because I'm telling the president without him, none of this existed. And that was the one thing that Bill used to say. Charlie, I'm never going to ask you for anything, but I really want to I really want to be the president because he was having the Trump for president signs made a decade before anyone even thought it was possible.

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I mean, it was he was months ago, actually, back in April, he was xeroxing me and sending me scanning, I should say, all of these documents of things where he was just sending around pamphlets to local amont. Trump for president. We need a businessman. This is back in 2011.

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But him meeting the president, I think was was was very he really meant a lot to him. It really did. So the first lesson is this. We talked about this, but it's very applicable. Find one person today that needs you to believe in them and lift them up. And when I mean by believing them, it's don't just check the box and move on, but, like, really get into it. Right. Really lean into it.

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That was always Bill number two. Beautifully said by others. Love your country. He was goodness, man, if we could have a country that loved America as much as Bill, none of these, I just forget it. So it's just the patriotism exuded from it. He was a true patriot. There's nothing he wouldn't have done for his country. And that's a really special thing. This is a good one.

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And I love this picture is smile more and complain less. I think those are for good words. Smile more in your life and just complain less. He was not a complainer. He wasn't. He suffered at times from sciatica. You know, he had issues that he could have always been complaining about, but he really lived the embodiment. That age is just a state of mind. When he was around, people would always say he is the youngest.

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Seventy seven year old, the youngest seventy eight year old I've ever met. Right. You feel like you are dealing with an 18 year old.

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Smile more, complain less. Number four, complete. Create the future that you can dream of. And he's really he really showed that you can create something that makes the world a better place. Number five is anyone can change the world. Anyone can. And there's no excuse. That is a living legacy of Bill number six is kind of a really I mean, being on road trips with him and being all across the country. And it didn't really hit me.

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He actually hated flying. He hated it. He was claustrophobic.

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He if he had to sit on an aisle with his left hand and even with that, but he never he never told me that while we were flying around the country. Right. Because he never wanted me to feel like it was a burden. I didn't know that until years later. And but he still had that chipper attitude, which is to seize the day every day as an opportunity at the end of it, you could do something moral and something good.

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I think this is the seventh thing, which is a we all need to hear this in our country right now, which is that things can actually get better. Like, that's a really I think we need to keep saying that, that things can actually get better. He embodied that better than any other human being I've ever met. So he he didn't have no tolerance for many things. He had no tolerance for negativity, none. When people were negative, he was just impulsively using the weight against them and saying, but have you seen the whole picture yet?

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Like, no, bill, things are bad. No, they're not. They're just about to be good no matter what.

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It was amazing. So a lot of us are here because Bill touched us individually, directly or indirectly. Right. And. I want to tell you about the last conversation I ever had with him. It was on July 3rd. I was in South Dakota. Erica was with me and I again, I it was the Holy Spirit. I hadn't called Bill for about a month and a half and I had awful cell service, but I was sitting at a table.

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And there was all this political pageantry going on in anticipation of the Mount Rushmore thing, I turn to Erica said I got to call Bill Kitchener, right, stood up and went and called Bill looking at the beautiful hills of Rapid City, South Dakota, right there in the Black Hills. And Bill and I had the greatest conversation. It was just calm. It was mutual. It was talking about the crazy things we've been through. And it was just no other way to describe it than the Holy Spirit that you said you got to make that phone call, right?

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Right. And at the end of the call, I'll never forget how it how it ended. I said were talking about all sorts different things. And I don't know why I said it, but I said, Bill, you know, I always have your back. He said, I know you do, Charlie. I know you do. And that was it. And so the way I interpret that is. Bill would want all of us to continue to press on for the betterment of our country and for young people, that's what having us back is, because as Brad, you said it perfectly, he actually never wanted to be on center stage.

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In fact, he really didn't. It was disinterested him. Bill didn't want to be at the big flashing lights being like, oh, look at me. Having his back would actually be believing in someone who needs it. That's what that is. And that's all that he would want. So as we ask ourselves now. What can you do to make the world a better place to be more like Bill Montgomery? Care less about just kind of how the light shines on you and maybe what is good for the country, maybe there's an 18 year old right now that needs to hear from you.

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Maybe there's someone that's contemplating self-harm right now that needs that phone call. So would call people every week that he'd only met once and check in on them. How are you doing or not doing? Great. And he would be on the phone for an hour and a half just believing and leaning in on them. It's incredible pouring into them. So that's what I plan to do, I I miss him, I really do terribly, Brad, I completely agree.

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It has not set in yet. Hasn't because at times we would go a month without seeing each other or two months we would text back and forth. But a couple of days ago, I looked at my phone. I was like and then it began to hit me. I was like, I hadn't gotten a text from Bill in a while. And no matter what it was, he would always be watching Fox, he'd always be watching something and he'd say, keep it up, you're doing great.

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I love this. By the way, can you speak with these four different rallies called these six different people? I have an idea. Call me. Right. But what it was perpetually planning, an optimistic one man did something so special for our country, one person, and he deserves credit for that. He does. He never, ever saw it. It never did. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give it. So every time you see a turning point leader, a person who's ever been touched by your organization, it's because of one guy that came up to me in April of 2012 and said, you shouldn't go to college, go do something different.

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That, I think is the greatest call to action to remember Bill Montgomery that I think we could possibly remember. So I'd like to close in prayer and then we will have a lunch service. So and for those of you watching live, thank you. And apologize for any of the the audio issues.

[00:29:41]

So please, please join me in a word of prayer.

[00:29:47]

Dear Lord, thank you for Bill Montgomery. Thank you for the lives that he touched. Thank you for Eddie, for Michelle, for Brad and for the people. That he believed in and Bob and Rick and myself, thank you for what the impact he had on our life. We pray that we can. Personify the spirit of Bill Montgomery every single day. Because his legacy and his spirit lives on, we pray for our country. We pray that we can be better, more joyful and cheerful people like Bill was.

[00:30:28]

We thank you for sending your son to die for us. We thank you for the spirit that filled Bill every single day. We need more people like Bill and I pray that. We can do exactly that in your name, we pray, amen. Thank you guys so much for coming today. And the best thing you can do as a way to remember Bill as he would want. I know this. I can hear him saying it. Charlie, thank you for the kind words.

[00:30:56]

Now go get back to work. I got to hear him saying that. Now go keep doing what is good for the country, what's good for the state and good for other people. Find someone today to believe in them. And God bless you guys. Thank you so much for coming. And please enjoy each other. Thank you.

[00:31:16]

Thank you guys for listening. Please believe in a young person today, Bill believed in my vision and our vision, a turning point USA we are doing to empower the next generation every single day. He pushed me to be a better person, to work harder, to go to more college campuses, to understand history.

[00:31:33]

If you had your life touched at all by this podcast, Bill Montgomery has impacted your life and he would want nothing more than Turning Point USA to continue to grow to more campuses. TP, USA, Dotcom, USA, Dotcom have a blessed Saturday, everybody, with more episodes coming up soon. God bless you and God bless our country.