Improving Services for Our Veterans – 5.0 – What Happens When the Wrong Medical Items Are Delivered to Veterans?

So glad congress finally caught up with what is going on in the VA…. Now fix it!

The Gratitude Connection

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Did you know for the year 2014 the Veterans Administration (VA) has proposed 2.478 billion dollars for Prosthetics Care? By Definition, prosthetics are: – An artificial device that replaces a missing body part lost through trauma, disease, or congenital conditions. However, the VA also provides braces and other devices through their prosthetics clinics.

A visit to any VA center will provide the visitor with an opportunity to witness the massive number of devices needed by veterans for their rehabilitation or adaptation. Everything from artificial limbs to wheelchairs to leg braces, this equipment is neither cheap, nor free.

So what happens when a Veteran is provided with the wrong medical device? First the device is very often shipped by the VA via United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FED EX) from the vendor to the veteran’s residence. (And we wonder why the US Postal Service is going broke??? Because…

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5 Reasons The Majority of Our Country Could Care Less About Violent Crimes

Columbia Mall Shooting

Columbia Mall Shooting

http://news.yahoo.com/39-active-shooter-39-reported-maryland-mall-officials-170806135.html

  1. An increase in active shooter incidents with no pressure being applied to our politicians by the citizenry
  2. Satisfaction with reduced murder rates rather than prevention and elimination of murders in communities across the country
  3. An attitude of sympathy that most always seems to shift from the victim to the perpetrator. This seems especially true when celebrities become involved in championing the release of individuals convicted of violent crimes rather than both the victims of crimes and those who have been falsely accused
  4. An attitude that directs billions of dollars on punishment with a fraction of these dollars being directed towards prevention
  5. Ignorance concerning crime stats and criminal activity in one’s own neighborhood

Could it be the constitution that gave this nation life is now beginning to choke us because it grows or changes too slowly?

Thank a first responder today!

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Avoid Painting People With A Broad Brush

This is police work too!

One of the worst things in life is when we allow cynical people to cause us to lose our sense of balance in life. While there are a lot of cynical people who exploit, profile, and discriminate against others, there will always be those who strive to do right by people regardless of race, ethnicity, color or any other status.

Regardless of the fact that some individuals paint people groups different then themselves with a broad brush, strive to be one who refuses to paint people with that same broad brush. No one should ever allow themselves to be a victim, but at the same time, no one should ever allow those who abuse their authority by oppressing others, to destroy one’s sense of fairness, and dignity!

Thank you to this police officer for taking a moment to care!
http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/police-officer-stops-to-play-catch-with-boy-playing-alone-002435126.html?vp=1

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The Making of a Black Belt

8 Year Old Xaiver Nugent Is Promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt

8 Year Old XavierNugent Is Promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt

It all begins with a desire. A desire to do something…to be something. A desire to occupy one’s time in a positive and productive manner. A desire to have one’s child accomplish something meaningful at an early age to help set the platform for future success.

As any parent knows all too well, when a child takes up a sport or activity, by default whether literally or supportively, so do the parents of that child. In many cases it is a commitment that lasts from several years to several decades. Years that are filled with hundreds if not thousands of trips to training classes and competitions. Years filled with expenses for uniforms, equipment, registration and class fees, vehicle fuel, and so forth. Not to mention the commitment of time. Time that one will never get back. Time spent driving to and from classes. Time spent cheering the child on and encouraging him or her not to quit. Time spent watching the progress and development of the child, and on occasion, time spent nursing injuries.

For those who stay the course, success is inevitable and success is what was achieved on a rainy afternoon very recently by Xavier Nugent and several of his classmates at the US Taekwondo Center (USTC) in Spring Lake, North Carolina.

Saturday December 14, 2013, was a dark, dreary, cloud filled day with heavy down pours of ice cold rain. It was the kind of day one would enjoy catching up on a bit of sleep or curling up under a warm blanket, by the fireplace to watch a good movie, or to read a good book. However, for approximately half a dozen students at USTC, it was testing day. For anyone who has ever studied any form of martial arts, surely they will understand and can visualize what testing day is all about. And for anyone who is unfamiliar with a martial arts testing day, simply imagine trying to throw a punch or kick until one can no longer lift one’s arm or leg. Or maybe try standing in the middle of a circle surrounded by eight opponents who attack you where you must fend off each opponent using a different self-defense technique. Now, imagine doing all of this during one’s childhood at the age of eight. Yes, Xavier is eight years old! And while he may not be the first or the youngest child to ever earn a black belt, surely he is one of the youngest.

Xavier Nugent is the son of Jamaican-American parents, and he is the first person in the family to attain the rank of black belt. In fact, Xavier actually attained a first degree black belt during his testing. Xavier’s three year journey began at the age of five when his dad signed him up for lessons under the instruction of Grandmaster Myong Sok Namkung Mayes at the USTC.

Grand Master Mayes was the first, and is currently the only female to attain the highest degree black belt in the entire world, 9th dan. Grand Master Mayes is also recognized by the World Taekwondo Federation, following are her accomplishments: four-time Korean National Champion (male and female); 1988 U.S. Olympic Head Coach; U.S. Coach of the Decade and 20 years as President of the North Carolina Taekwondo Association. Grand Master Mayes has even trained soldiers in the U.S. Army from Fort Bragg. Rarely in this life do we get to appreciate individuals who attain such high degree of success and influence while they are still among us, however in Grand Master Mayes’ case, she is considered a “living legend”; here to impart her knowledge, and wisdom of this great art from.

After signing up, Xavier began weekly training. Periodically, Xavier attended board breaking classes which help to build confidence and demonstrate skill level. Xavier also attended classes where he was required to wear protective pads so that he could spar. Sparring is the practice of simulating fighting or self-defense. It is yet another practice to demonstrate proficiency and mastery of skills and techniques. With each promotion Xavier earned a different color belt. His last belt before his black belt promotion was his red high, a red belt with a black line through it. For approximately the last eight weeks Xavier doubled up on his classes, taking his regular class and a second class under the direction of a fifth degree black belt at USTC, Master Shaw.

Xaiver Demonstrates His Flexibility by Performing a Split

Xavier Demonstrates His Flexibility by Performing a Split

As referenced by the pictures above, clearly accomplishment and success is a great thing, and it is derived from hard work, consistency, and dedication. Regardless, of one’s age, success can be attained during any stage of life. And more often than not, it is attained through collaboration, team work, and with the support of loving friends and family!

Great job Xavier! And congratulations to all of your classmates too! If ever there was an example of a mother and father who took the time to lovingly support their child to success, it is Xavier’s parents.

Likewise, all of the parents of students at USTC and others parents who support their children’s activities serve as great examples as to what is right with our country! We need more of this in our great nation if we are ever to realize a more productive society…

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Improving Services For Our Veterans – 8.0 Operation Finally Home

Dear Dan Wallrath, Thank you, and God Bless you sir!

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Why Crime Pays!

Crime pays because of the lack of national and local prevention programs.

Crime pays because it does NOT pay to get involved to help solve crime. It is easier to look the other way and not be burdened with the responsibility of making a complaint, going to court, and getting involved in the process.

Crime pays because for the individuals who decide to take a risk to commit crimes they have a good chance of not being caught, and even if they are caught it may only result in a smack on the wrist. The idea that only five percent of individuals who get arrested ever make it to trial due to plea bargains and dismissals still stands today. While it may be true there has be a growing trend in the reduction of crime, this will never comfort an individual who personally experiences being a victim of crime.

Crime pays because when you are involved in crime you can get something for nothing, while letting someone else foot the bill.

Crime pays because law enforcement and the public seem to lack the resolve necessary to engage in open dialouge to share information to defeat criminals. Last but not least crime pays because it keeps prisons open and keeps prison officals and corrections officers employed.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to all individuals, police and civilians alike who are involved in the fight against crime.

 

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I Have Seen the Past and It Scares Me

Discombobulation Abounds

Batman and robin

There is no easier way to frighten the pants off of anyone over thirty than by telling them anecdotes that make it abundantly clear that they are aging: ‘The Tale Of the Little Girl Who Had No Idea What A VHS Tape Was’, ‘I Handed A Child A Real Photograph And It Tried To Zoom In Using Its Fingers (A True Story)’, ‘What Is The Relation Between A Cassette Tape And A Pencil: A Horror Story In Two Acts’. Thirty-somethings now stand around at parties whispering about the intern at work who only remembers floppy disks because of the ‘save’ icon, and whose childhood memories of ‘Batman’ are of Christian Bale, not Adam West (and this reference will date itself once Ben Affleck takes over the franchise, I’m sure). At those times the generation gap seems more like a chasm, impossible to bridge.

Just as a gramophone or telephone switchboard has…

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Improving Services for Our Veterans – 7.0 – CNN Reports Problems With VA Hospitals

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/11/20/ac-dnt-griffin-veterans-dying-waiting-for-care.cnn.html

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A 2013 Thank You To Our Veterans!

The Gratitude Connection

ImageIt is so easy to revere professional athletes, movie stars, and other professional entertainers, who make tons of money and have so many possessions. From expensive cars to huge mansions, celebrities really seem to live the high life.

It is great this nation allows for such freedoms that make it possible to become wealthy by playing sports, acting in a movie, or recording music. However, somehow so many in our society have allowed these professions to become the object their affection. People will spend hundreds for a night out at the movies, with $10 movie tickets and the $11 popcorn combos. They will spend $75 or more for their favorite team jersey, and hundreds to attend a sporting event. And hundreds more are spent for tickets to attend music concerts to see a favorite artist. I remember a time (when I was a kid) during the 1970s when it cost…

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A 2013 Thank You To Our Veterans!

ImageIt is so easy to revere professional athletes, movie stars, and other professional entertainers, who make tons of money and have so many possessions. From expensive cars to huge mansions, celebrities really seem to live the high life.

It is great this nation allows for such freedoms that make it possible to become wealthy by playing sports, acting in a movie, or recording music. However, somehow so many in our society have allowed these professions to become the object their affection. People will spend hundreds for a night out at the movies, with $10 movie tickets and the $11 popcorn combos. They will spend $75 or more for their favorite team jersey, and hundreds to attend a sporting event. And hundreds more are spent for tickets to attend music concerts to see a favorite artist. I remember a time (when I was a kid) during the 1970s when it cost 75 cents to see a Sunday matinee, and not much more for popcorn. Something seems really out of balance these days.

While no one will deny the talent of our celebrities and the interest they pique, and happiness they may spread by performing in their craft, clearly, hardly anyone seems to believe their compensation is reasonable and appropriate. Rather, in so many cases compensation for celebrities seems quite excessive. For many, celebrities may even serve as modern day heroes, but not for me.

My heroes are those men and women who serve the public good. Our teachers, nurses, police and firefighters and many others like them. My heroes are the folks who wake up everyday to go to a job they may not be crazy about, that may not pay all that well, in order to put food on the table and to provide support to their families.

My heroes also are those who serve or have served in the armed forces. Their reasons may be many. Perhaps they did not have money to attend college, or maybe they could not find employment. Maybe they felt the urge to just do something to make our country a better place to live, or perhaps it was always a childhood dream to simply serve. And they do it all on such meager pay.

Regardless the reason, for the difficult testing and training our vets endured. For the uncomfortable and inhumane conditions they lived under, for their travels to foreign lands to fight in arid jungles, scorching deserts, and freezing mountains. For the mental and physical injuries they sustained during service and combat. For the bureaucracy they endured upon their return when attempting to access services. For the things they have seen and done in order to survive that we civilians will never understand. For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice during their service in a foreign land by giving their lives for their fellow men and women back home.

Thank you so very much for your service! You will always be the nation’s real heroes…

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