Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons from a Veteran.

'A day late and a dollar short' - I have heard it before. Today is Veterans Day and I have been meaning to write earlier. Then I started thinking - why should we only make it a point to thank our veterans one day a year?? These men and women put themselves on the line everyday not just occasionally.
You have heard the stories about people buying soldiers lunch or coffee. There are organizations out there helping returning military find jobs. This has been a big push lately, gaining a lot of advertisement, including TV ads from Walmart. The Veterans Administration has a variety of sources to help vets find jobs or start a business.(picture from the VA site)

(picture from Today Show site) This morning on the Today Show there was a great story about Aaron Mankin, a US Marine, who was badly injured in Iraq. Over time he found himself at the UCLA Medical Center with Operation Mend, Healing the Wounds of War. This program, free of charge to the veteran, does all sorts of surgical procedures to help get military personnel back to their lives, as well as lending support to their families and caregivers. Right now, Aaron is spending time with his family and becoming a public speaker for Operation Mend. As the story goes, not only does it sound like he is on the mend with his injuries but also with his spirit; as he says "beauty is who you are" and “Life happens to you. But your power resides in the fact that you can choose how you respond to that.”

Any military personnel, active or retired, who fought in Iraq or Afganistan is eligible. If you know a veteran who may be interested in seeing if Operation Mend can help him or her, please click here. If you live in the area of the hospital, consider being a buddy family, helping with extra comfort support, dinners, just getting them out in the community for a change of pace.

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Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom:
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I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
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Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
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Forgive those who might hurt you
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Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
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Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
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Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
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