I hate the title of this blog post, but it is so true. How many of you say “thank you for your service” when you notice men with baseball caps indicating they served our country? Or National Guards people who are in uniform? I figure about 5 percent.
They have become – since the days of the Vietnam Veterans – forgotten Americans.
And they put THEIR lives on the line every day during their tours of duty so that we can hang out with friends, go to ball games and simply sleep soundly at night.
There are reputable organizations out there that help our Veterans. I donate to Paralyzed Veterans of America…$10/month.
Here’s a link for grateful Americans to help support our Veterans because American Government is NOT .
If you would like to help our Vets – from WWII thru Afghanistan – above is a link to resources. Choose one, donate monthly. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Everyone thinks “well enough people will donate, so I don’t have to”….YES YOU DO!!! THESE PEOPLE PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR YOU!!!!
Many of them are homeless, like the video above. Many of them are on food stamps, which have recently been cut ( thanks G.O.P.). You sent these people to witness and perform unspeakable acts and you bastards want to sweep them under
There are thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans who have PTSD. How many are being helped? How many are waiting almost TWO FUCKING YEARS to get help from the bogged down with government bereaucracy at Veterans Administration These people need help NOW, not when it’s convenient for some government worker to get to the bottom of their ‘TO DO’ list.
HELP OUR VETERANS, PLEASE. They didn’t think twice about protecting you.
At the end of last year, Sun and I wrote an essay and won a Little Free Library. Since then, she and I have been the stewards of our very own LFL. And I do not overstate when I say it changed my life.
First, it brought Sun and I even closer together sharing the project of checking to see if books have come into or gone out of the LFL and working to replenish our stock. We’ve spent hours together walking the neighborhood handing out flyers. She’s been asking when we’ll be doing that again. I think we’ll be sending out a summer newsletter just as an excuse to do it again soon!
Second, it brought me closer to my neighbors. I’ve yet to hear anything negative about the project. Turns out, folks like free things and appreciate the sense of caring that a steward emits by the very act of stewarding. Even wizened neighbors I’d have thought would have scratched their heads at us young hippies have embraced us and our library. I’ve met neighbors that have lived doors down from me for over a decade that I never knew. It’s that nice feeling we New Orleanians get after a storm passes and we are all sitting on our porches with no electricity to pull us indoors. Humans connecting over a common bond. In this case, that common bond is books. The Marthas and Wendys and Dollys that you meet every other summer after a particularly bad storm. Except now we meet weekly, if not more often. We get thank you notes left in the LFL. My favorite was written by a young boy thanking us for the Star Wars book. We also get notes of encouragement to keep up the good work. I keep every note. And we get offers of donations. Oh, the donations! I need an extra room for all the books we’ve amassed in under six months!
Third, I am a reading machine now. The quality (and quantity) of books being donated to this LFL is nothing short of astounding. Here’s a link to my Librarything account showing the LFL tag I’ve created for the books I’d not have read but for my LFL. And that’s just of the books I’ve read so far. I have just as many in my to-read pile.
Our LFL has its own Facebook page, its own bookcrossing account, a personalized embossed seal to mark the books, and, most importantly, its own heart. When I was away from home for a week, a neighbor did the stewarding for us. Because truly, it’s hers too. It belongs to this neighborhood. And we all know it. We are proud of this little box–what it means to ourselves, our children, our community. And we are grateful for the wonder it has renewed in us that we didn’t know we could so easily attain.
Via Rafael Delgadillo, shared with his permission. I very much admire Rafael’s thoughts, perspective, and clarity re: last night’s events:
Last night’s game will go down as one of the most memorable Super Bowls ever. For the great play, the blackout, and for coming back to NOLA for the first time in 11 years.
However, for me, the most memorable moment was before the game. To see the Sandy Hook Elementary School Choir pair up with Jennifer Hudson (whose mother, brother, and nephew were shot to death in 2008) in singing “America the Beautiful” literally in the middle of this country’s most violent city.
Perhaps I’m looking into it too deeply, but those of you who know me well will understand. That moment was moving. Though it is a great song, to me it had lost its meaning over time, like all songs do. But as I heard it last night, it struck me more as a song about the hope that we have for this country’s potential rather than a declaration of our exceptionalism.
The irony of it all. Jennifer Hudson and Sandy Hook’s community reminding us that we can do great things, like curb gun violence on one hand. On the other, the NFL used this city to put American overindulgence on display and quite literally sucked the energy out of one this nation’s poorest cities in the process.
Sorry if this is too personal, but sometimes… you just gotta…
Thank you, Rafa, for sharing these powerful thoughts and words.
Over an eighth night of Chanukah dinner, I got into a discussion about the horrible event in Newtown, CT, with a friend of mine who taught for many decades.
“Where are the emergency drills in local schools for this kind of thing? Why is the security at the schools here so lax?” she worried.
It was deemed a sad thing that lockdown procedures were even necessary at schools today, but some basic measures like keeping school gates and doors locked from the outside during school hours seem like afterthoughts here. I remarked that just after I learned about Newtown, I went to pick up my son from school and observed a school staff member head for her car just outside a school side gate, get what she needed from her vehicle, then head back onto school grounds without closing the gate behind her. It’s not like it couldn’t happen in New Orleans – it did nearly ten years ago.
“They do keep the main building closed from the outside, with the only access being via a buzzer and an intercom system,” Dan said, “but if you’re a kid or teacher in one of the portable classrooms, you’re on your own,” he finished half-jokingly.
The only drills anyone runs in the schools here are fire drills, and those not very frequently. I suppose, and hope, a lockdown drill or two will be a part of the school year. The trick is trying to give the kids a sense of safety without it feeling like a police state.
At the same time, schools across the country are being so defunded that to jump up and throw loads of money at security for impoverished schools seems cruel and ridiculous. I’d prefer that the long-term solution be more money to education and the proper treatment of mental illness, and better gun control laws…
…but chances are, we’ll be debating this stuff until someone comes into an infant daycare and opens fire.