I’ve had a lot of good comments on my last blog entry (found HERE) about escorting the local National Guard unit home. I even had a guy come up to me in a restaurant and shake my hand ’cause he’d read the article! I felt rather famous there for a bit… I do appreciate all the nice things people say! But really, all I did was go ride my motorcycle, then write about it. (I did that once before – you can read about it HERE.) The soldiers did all the hard stuff.
We need to remember, as a nation and a society, that when we send our troops to war, we are asking them to do horrific things. We need to make sure that if we’re willing to ask them to do these things, that we’re also willing to give them what they need, both while they’re on duty and when they come back home again. It was pointed out on New Iowan’s blog that our legislators have been falling short of that responsibility.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America took a hard look at how our lawmakers have actually voted on various bills in regard to supporting the troops and graded them accordingly. According to their website, “Every member of Congress claims to support the troops, but this guide shows us that more often than not, the rhetoric does not match the reality.” It goes on to say, “A legislator’s low score can be directly linked to the unnecessary hardship that US troops, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and military families often face.”
How do our local lawmakers here in Iowa fare?
Charles Grassley (R) – D
Tom Harkin (D) – B
Jim Nussle (R) – C
Jim Leach (R) – B
Leonard Boswell (D) – B+
Tom Latham (R) – C+
Steve King (R) – D+
It used to be that the Republicans were more supportive of the military, but that paradigm seems to be shifting. For me, here in Northwestern Iowa, I’m most concerned with Grassley, Harkin, Nussle (who’s running for Governor), and King. Of those, Democrat Tom Harkin is the only one to get a good grade. (Mr. King’s D+ doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s shown questionable judgment at best since we sent him to Washington.) I know I’m going to be careful when I vote in a few weeks!
I encourage everyone to go do some investigating and see how your own congressman has been voting. You can find the IAVA website HERE.
Not that I’m complaining or anything…
…but this is the closest window in my office. Some days I really feel like I’m in a dungeon. Isolated. Kinda sucks. (I haven’t been enjoying work lately. It’s become, well, work. If anyone needs a freelance writer, I’m getting kinda tired of the graphic design biz…)
When I went home the other day, I saw these guys, hanging around in their tree like vultures, huddled, waiting for winter. It made me cold.
A few years ago I did the Heimlich maneuver on a guy at a local greasy-spoon diner. He coughed up whatever he was choking on and we all went back to our breakfasts. (I don’t think I ate much more that day.) Believe it or not, after a few days I’d kinda forgotten about the incident. Life just sort of went on, you know? But a couple weeks later my dad gave me a “Hero Gift.” Not much, just a little medallion that I keep in my pocket sometimes. When I see it, I remember that for just a few seconds in a diner I was a hero and saved some guy from choking to death, and I feel a little good about it.
Last week I read on a “blog-buddy’s” blog that she’d saved a child’s life by doing a difficult thing. She wrote in her blog that she was a bit shook up about it (it’s not every day you have to keep a twelve-year-old stabbing victim from bleeding to death on a football field). So we sent her a “Hero Gift.” Hopefully when she sees the little angel we sent her every now and then she’ll think about how she was a guardian angel, a hero, and she’ll feel a little good about it.
I wish I could send “Hero Gifts” to everyone who deserves one. There are a lot of good people out there! And we all need to feel a little good about it every now and then.