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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some Birthday thoughts

Odd how the death of a singer who abused alcohol, illegal drugs and prescriptions gets 24 hour coverage for days after her death, but those who've kept terrorists from attacking & killing civilians on American soil and elsewhere in the world rarely get any coverage.  All of those celebrities coming forward and calling her a "treasure" knew she was slowly killing herself and did nothing to protect someone who they deemed a treasure.  Our Troops and first responders are our real treasures as they do something--keep us from being attacked and killed.  So let's make sure we take care of them.  Thank you troops.

I first saw this on Facebook today, and was really taken by it.  Please know that the above and the photo are not mine.   It is posted by  whose "about" section reads:  No more homeless Veterans, no more Veteran suicides, no more wounded Veterans not being able to find help.

I had never seen it before, and only saw it this time when one of my FB friends "liked" it.  

I've felt this way for a long time....I don't feel that we are doing enough to take care of our veterans.  I feel that the Veteran's Hospitals are woefully not up to the task of taking care of our own, especially after hearing what friends go through as they try to guide their WWII and Korean or Vietnam Vet parents through the morass.  I felt this way when I was getting treatment at the Hospital of St. Raphael's and saw a homeless vet every day with his sign near the hospital. I feel this way now as I see younger and younger vets struggling with what they have seen and done in the mid-east.  

I cringe that we mark the passing of someone who has thrown away their lives which usually aren't filled with the horror and struggle of  our vets.  I think too of all the help that my nurses give me and the work that hospice nurses do.....and I think that it is sad that we focus so much on the entertainers of the world.

I don't care what country they serve. I do care about the sacrifices they make.

Today is my birthday.  I know what it means to be thankful for another day and another year.  I greet each year and candle with joy, every grey hair, every creaking bone...because at least I can wake up and feel and so many can't.  People with great promise who didn't throw their lives away.  

So, in honor of my birthday, I'll make a contribution to somewhere, whether it is to a veteran's service group, or to an aid group for famine or natural disaster (yes, Haiti and many others are still working on rebuilding and trying to put their lives back together)....but it seems to me that that is something I can do. I hope you consider celebrating your special days in some similar fashion.  


Rayna said...

Having spent many days in the V.A. hospital with my husband and seen the permanent disabilities, and - yes - poverty of these veterans, I know whereof you speak. It is heartbreaking to see them - young and old, mostly men - but women, as well, sitting and waiting, often for hours (ask me how I know) for medical care of all sorts. They greet each other like old friends and many hang out there because they have nowhere else to spend their days.

OTOH - Whitney Houston, who grew up 10 minutes away from me (I pass her childhood home en route to my studio) has had pages and pages and pages of coverage in our local paper all week long.

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

And she had millions.....yes, she had a great voice, but I feel that is it out of proportion. My sister-in-law took me to task saying that her songs made her happy....

I just look at it and think, yes, she was an entertainer, and was paid (and will continue to be paid long after her death) for that joy. What have we done to repay those who have sacrificed?

I think of my niece's husband's friend who suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iraq, and how he struggles...and his children won't remember a dad who doesn't speak slowly and walk unsteadily....and I cringe.