I’m tempted to remind that 22 million veterans depend on the VA for care, and that 25.7 million dependents do as well. Those fine folks are serviced by some 360,000 VA employees (source.) It’d be easy to sneak in a line or two from that poem we only ever hear around this time in November.
But what hasn’t been easy, is finding anything to say.
I can tell we’ve collectively spent a lot of time talking about ‘the issues’ these past few weeks, because everywhere I look, I see people who are exhausted. It hasn’t escaped my notice that content buffers (my own included) have run dry this week.
I’ve seen heartbreaking posts across the internet, and I’ve seen brands struggle to grapple with a return to normalcy. I’ve seen localized spikes in searches for volunteer opportunities, I’ve seen these and many more things that suggest that for many we are in a moment of pause.
There’s an old Voice Of San Diego story, Debbie Kinsinger shared some time ago about Odell “Ranger” Wilson, who fell into the habit of running with cadence and spent a great number of years doing so with a flag in tow. In 2004, he ran 11 marathons in 10 months, each time carrying a POW*MIA flag.
“he “runs with the flag in order to bring community awareness to the plight of POW/MIAs as well as to show support for those gallant men and women who place themselves in harm’s way each day so that we might enjoy the freedoms we have as American citizens.””
“Ranger Wilson is a two-year cancer survivor who ran 11 marathons including the ultra- marathon in 2004, and he started just one month post-surgery while he was still undergoing intensive radiation therapy for a grapefruit-size tumor in his left thigh. He will be running the Suzuki Rock and Roll Marathon on June 5 in honor of POW/MIAs as well as those who have lost their lives in the Middle East. In addition to running, Ranger Wilson is a volunteer for several organizations including the Veterans Administration Hospital Spinal Cord Injury Physical Therapy Unit, the Veterans Museum, the Torrey Pines Gliderport, Casa Del Ray Moro African Museum, the Bread of Life and the 82nd Airborne Honor Guard.”
I share that story, not for any of its own merits. Rather, I share it because a few days ago, I noticed this:
There are some delightful sentiments, I suppose but it’s hard to admit that we live in an era where even such transparent granstanding can’t see the light of day. That’s worse than a diservice. It’s an insult.