The Bridgewater Badgers: Band of Brothers . . .

Danny Keefe, bullying, friendship, courage, connected, connection, we are all connected, OM, OM by Miquette, Miquette Bishop, Saunderstown, Rhode IslandDanny Keefe has style. He might be just six-years-old, but he never goes anywhere without first making sure that he looks good. His favorite outfit consists of a smart jacket, tie and fedora, but not everyone appreciates Danny’s dress sense . . .

So much so that, in recent times, Danny has been subjected to some cruel treatment at his school, not just for his clothes but also for his speech problems. You see, the fashion-conscious first-grader suffered a brain hemorrhage as a newborn, leaving him with difficulties that have made him an easy target for bullies.

Those who have singled Danny out, however, didn’t count on the Band of Brothers who have come to his aid. He might – to some – be an uncool kindergartner. But as it turns out, Danny has the Bridgewater Badgers in his corner.

The Badgers are the Fifth-Grade football team at Danny’s school in Massachusetts and, when Quarterback Tommy Cooney heard about Danny’s troubles, he did a quite remarkable thing: the next day, he wore a jacket and tie to school and persuaded more than 40 others to do the same as a show of support. We’d like you to watch this short film, but be warned: you might need a tissue.

Emotional stuff. Inspirational too, for it demonstrates that, no matter how old (or young) we are, we all have the power to make the most remarkable difference to the lives of those around us.

“Look at what happened from one person (Tommy),” said Danny’s mom Jennifer. “You all have this in you. You can pay it forward. If you ever have the opportunity to stick up for someone or be someone’s friend, you should do that.”

Tommy, for his part, thinks it’s all rather simple. “He’s such a good person,” he said. “He doesn’t let it bother him and he goes about his day. He’s a six-year-old kid. We should all respect that.”

What strikes us here is the wisdom that those involved seem to possess. “The coach calls us a Band of Brothers and he’s one of us,” said 11-year-old Jimmy Peterson. “We’re all human and all the same and all created equal,” said Nicholas Lambert. He is just 10.

This appeals to us because it’s about courage, that thing that we’ve talked about a lot in our recent blog posts. Tommy, Jimmy, Nicholas and their friends had the courage to support Danny, in the process standing up for what is right, which is one of the Six Attributes of Courage. But no-one has more courage than Danny himself, who is persevering in the face of adversity and refusing to let his troubles get the better of him.

“It hasn’t kept him down,” said Richard Osterman, Danny’s grandfather. “He keeps up with his siblings as well as a host of friends, both children and adults.” For that, we couldn’t have more respect.

Life is one great lesson and, although we might think we know it all, children have much to teach us adults. We’d like to applaud Tommy, Jimmy and Nicholas, as well as Matt Keefe, Tim Keefe, Emily Keefe, Brett Jackson, Nick Hogg, Devin O’Leary, Thatcher Abbassi, Larry Kirlis, Chris DeSantis, Brett Rosher, Brian Rosher, Matt Giurleo, Jacob Spear, Max Compton, Vinny Forziati, Cade Chiocca, Liam Woods, Jason Revil, Brendan Rosher, Joseph Jones IV, Kyle Phillips, Riley Welch, Riley Manning, Nick Longo, Connor Chiocca, Aidan Brien, Jack Morgan, Jake Prisco, Ryan MacDermott, Jacob Lawson, Raul Sanjay, Bobby Ladue, Zack Whiting, Danny Doherty, Cameron Hogg, Andrew Johnson, Chris Hogg, Nick Brown, David Usher, Ben Hogg and Josh Hogg, all of whom suited up and showed that courage is a force to be reckoned with.

Most of all, however, we’d like to commend Danny, who is an inspiration to us all. Here’s to him and here’s to being a bit more brave . . .

Panache, OM, OM by Miquette, Miquette Bishop, Saunderstown, Rhode Island, we are all connected

We are all connected.

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