Since we are at another holiday, I want to take a bit of a break from my normal writing topics to acknowledge July 4th and say a few words about our freedom.
Happy 4th of July
In so many places in the world, the cultural legacies are less than friendly to children and parents. In fact, some of the very issues that I have been discussing are not even in the language of children’s caregivers. We are indeed blessed to have the ability to have choices in how we raise our children. The amount of information available to parents and caregivers is vast and can be easily utilized in blogs such as mine, Web sites and other resources. I consider it a privilege to live in such a country with such a variety of options for children and families.
We should not take our freedom lightly
Many brave men and women have fought, become injured or died for our country to earn and maintain our freedom so we may live as we do. We have abundant opportunities to enjoy a rare quality of life in this world due to those who sacrificed on our behalf and have gone before us. The economy has been rough for many families these past few years, and I want to acknowledge those who have lost jobs and homes or ended up in significant financial crisis because we need to stand with them and do everything we can to improve their quality of life. It is a sobering reality that we are a nation of individuals who support each other in times of crisis, economic or otherwise.
Suffering trauma for the cause of freedom
Recently I met a man named Bill Haneke. Bill is a Vietnam veteran who was involved in an explosion in which he suffered a partial leg amputation, partial foot amputation, loss of an eye and severe head trauma. Certainly, he was in critical condition and today, it is a miracle he is alive.
After 4 years of treatment and rehabilitation, he became a hospital administrator. He has had a successful career and is now giving back to his fellow soldiers and their families by helping to raise money for them, especially during the time their loved one is being treated. He also mentors wounded soldiers by spending time with them and helping them to understand that even in their loss, there is hope. Because he can share the feelings he suffered in his experience, he can mentor those who are in dire circumstances.
The spirit of America and support in times of crisis
There are many stories of the spirit of America. Because of people like Bill, I can write my blog and live as I do. Many of you do the same. But what do you do for the spirit of America and its people?
Despite the hardships Bill has faced, he doesn’t stop. He mentors and advocates for thousands of Veterans in their journey to recover. He is a person who will sit, listen, support and nurture wounded soldiers and provide tangible financial help to them.
I will have the privilege of spending this week-end at an event honoring Bill in Virginia at Gaston Lake. The weekend will be filled with celebration, fireworks, music and food. If you live in the area, perhaps you will participate.
Personally, I am extremely proud of our soldiers. I wish I had the time and opportunity to speak to more of them. Each has a story worth telling.
Please take time to thank someone who you know who has been on the field of battle and has returned. The tenacity of these heroes is amazing. I know the conversation will be worthy and inspiring.
Happy Fourth of July week to you all. Enjoy your celebration.
We will continue on our posts to help caregivers of children next week. Thank you again for reading Lakeside Connect.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network