Sunday, August 13, 2017

Start something new?

After a particularly busy month of July, I am glad to inform you that our lives in North Carolina are starting to jell and take hold. Most people that come in contact with Mike & I will look at us and make comments as they have never seen me happier. I wish I could say that I had a lot to do with it but to be honest it is the new circumstances that continue to be laid at our feet. God has been working miracles daily and teaching me how to accept things that I would have once looked at and considered unacceptable.

Those lessons in acceptance and patience have placed me in a unique position. They have allowed me to see things through others eyes and experience in ways that personally I never would have dreamed of. I have always thought myself to be open minded yet in the past two years I have seen how myopic I have been. My heart and mind have been shown new routes to take and ways to give to others. If you are reading this, then you probably have helped change me even if you do not know it.

I thank you all, every one of you. Blessings like I have been given are few and far between and for me to have been allowed to walk this road is nothing short of biblical. Yes, there is a pun on words there, due to the increased study of the bible over the past year. (Something I have always read with a readers eye not necessarily a lust for learning what was really in there.) I am sure that in the past months the increase in quotes from the bible and Christian sources have probably given away the secret (Not) that I have a greater understanding of my place and need to share why I have been so blessed.

With all that said let me tell you some of what Mike and I have been able to take part in these past weeks. July was packed with travel and encounters that came from all sorts of places. I received a phone call from a friend up north putting me in contact with a company that wants to help spread the word about service dogs and the veteran communities. (Coincides with my mission of helping other veterans) Who knows if anything will come of it but with some power house backing I can dream about teaching others to spread the word that no one has to be alone and the overwhelming current number of 22 per day that takes their own life might be brought down some.  

As everyone knows I am a member of the American Legion Post 65, Statesville, NC. This Post is one of the more active Post I have seen around the country. For the month of July, we along with our Auxillary run a program called Christmas in July. This program, we take gifts to the State Veterans home, the Hospice and the VA Care facility in Salisbury. This year we were able to support 211 veterans with gift bags to residents along with service blankets. We also sponsored a day of bingo and just had a great day bringing joy to the facilities we visited. Mike had a blast bringing joy to all the veterans and staff. For those that have never taken the time to stop by your local area VA and see some of the elderly and hear their stories, please do. You will be surprised walking away feeling like you were the one who was blessed with history lessons and new friendships. They're always looking for people to come in and share time. Nothing more expensive than our time when our clocks have started to speed up.

I would like to talk about a program that the post is running in conjunction with the State VA home called Music and Memory program. It has to do with simple little iPods and music to help patients with memory issues. They have found that these iPods can bring peace and relaxation to the residents unlike any drug could ever do. So Post 65 has taken up collections and has been making donations to ensure that every patient that could benefit will benefit.  My thought that I am looking at taking a stab at is trying to get local corporations involved in funding a larger state program and then maybe even getting this program to grow into a national program. After spending time with these patients who have been before the music program in the different world now interacting with people and seemed much happier, it is a huge win for a program.

After spending time with some of the other members of our post and some other senior members of the community, a new need has become very clear. That need is technology tutoring and job guidance. In speaking with people about their technology use and trying to guide them, the thought came up that maybe we could use our post to help veterans with their tech needs. I and one other veteran are looking into what it would take to get the post a hotspot and then offer space and time to grow the community. It could become a great recruiting tool for the Post as well as a way to help our senior members feel more connected.

Stepping out of the normal operations and methodologies is the only way to stir things up sometimes. If I have to be the one to step out and make things happen then so be it. We all have to figure out what our gifts and talents are then move to make sure that we use them in the best way possible. Join me and others as we step out and find new ways to grow.

The Month of August looks to be just as busy as July was. Mike and I will be flying out to Reno, NV next week to attend the National American Legion Convention. This is a great opportunity to interact and meet many veterans of different eras. I thank God for the opportunities to be healthy enough to be able to travel like I do and to have Mike there with me to open the doors to get other Veterans to see they do not have to live the way they have been. Stay tuned to hear all the wonderful adventures the next time I get to write. Thank you all for the support and prayers. God Bless.