|The Pictures of Mike & I are Provided by |
the Veteran Portrait Project
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is hard to believe that I actually let the entire month of August go by without making any entries here, for that I am sorry. For those that follow this rambling of mine I guess it doesn't surprise you at all. The month of August is normally one of the busiest months of the year for me and this year was no slouch that is for sure. If you read the last entry you saw the list of events I had mentioned and I will tell you that each and every one of those went off along with some unplanned surprises also.
The month was full of emotions as well as events which for me makes things extra special. When I focused my life toward the goal of helping others and taking the time to get to know people at a different level then I have ever been able to do my life really changed. It is not an easy road to travel but it is a very satisfying one once you get past the fear and unknowns that get thrown your way. The blessings I have seen (I am sure they have always been there) have had me in tears often this month.
Some of the highlights of the month for me were being able to travel over to Long Island and meet with Brian & his bride Angie while they received his new guide/service dog. The unexpected retirement of Othello was such a loss and looked to be irreplaceable (just like Iris felt to me) yet once again America's VetDogs and the Guide Dog Foundation was able to train and pair an amazing puppy that took to Brian as if he had been waiting for him forever. To see that joy of a family being brought back together after such a tragedy of retiring Othello was tear jerking.
At the same time on the Island I was able to take part in the 1st ever 5k run/walk fundraiser at the Old Bethpage Museum. Being able to meet local to the foundation people was a unique experience and something I am very grateful for. The event was a huge success and many new friends were made. One of the highlights was being able to spend time with another veteran that has a guide dog from the foundation. He was a Korean War Vet and has never been able to get into the VA system due to a number of reasons. Hopefully during our conversation we were able to clear some things up and he will be able to now start the process to get his benefits that he has coming to him.
One of the biggest problems out there is that many of our nations veterans do not realize or they have tried but have been given wrong information and never followed up with a Veteran Service Officer. Please if you know a Veteran who was discharged honorably who has any issues going on in his or her life I am not saying they are always going to get benefits but more often then not there will always be someone that will help them figure out how to proceed to best handle any situation. No person should have to handle life alone and Veterans signed a blank check at one time the least that can be done for them is have someone that can help guide them when they need answers. If you know someone Drop me an email I will make sure that they get the right point of contact to proceed.
Ok, the big trip of the month was down to Baltimore for the 97th National Convention for the American Legion. This years convention was great as are all of them because there is nothing better then hanging out with people that care so much about their country that they not only served but continue to serve by guiding our nations youth and leaders through community service. Yes I am passionate about the Legions mission and love hanging out and helping where I can. I am honored to be around so many that do so much more then I could ever imagine.
Our booth for VetDogs was an interesting place to hang out this year. Joe Dan Worley is a medically retired Navy Corpsman who was working the booth with me. Between the two of us we had people laughing and crying along with all sorts of other emotions. I thank God for the opportunity to hand out the applications we were able to and also so grateful for all those Post and Auxiliaries that have committed to making VetDogs their mission this year. Over the past few years of my time with the legion I have watch the awareness grow and the hearts of people being touched without a doubt a humbling experience. I wish that I could tell all the stories that came up over the time spent this past week but maybe some other time. In the mean time I will say that for any group or person that is looking for something to stand behind and step up to the plate with VetDogs is a great opportunity.
Thank you all for allowing me to rant again if you only knew how often during the writing today I had to wipe away the tears of joy because this past month has been just that great. On a personal note our lives are changing here at our home, our youngest has moved out on her own and our son will be married in less then 2 months. My brides medical issues have kicked up a notch and she is putting in for disability do to it. We are going to be looking at new living arraignments sooner then later and many other things will be changing. Please keep us in your prayers, everything will work out no doubt but as in everything else in life it needs to be lived.
If you have a moment please go check out the Veteran Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall She does amazing work.
Now for the shameless plug to insure other Veterans have the same opportunities I have had Here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.