From our readersIssue Date: November 8, 2017
To the editor,
As Veteran's day approaches I believe it is important to recognize that our country has changed from the time when almost all citizens honored and respected those who have served in defense of our freedom. Unlike the overpaid athletes and organizations such as "Black Lives Matter" and "Antifa" who disrespect the National Anthem and condemn our men in blue, it is time for those of us who disagree with their rantings to stand up and be counted. Rather than being "oppressed" those people should be thankful daily that they live in a country where they have the freedom to act like spoiled children who label anyone who disagrees as "racist".
The following is a poem I wrote on October 8, 2001 as we began the fight in Afghanistan subsequent to September 11, 2001. As it was then, is now and always will be, freedom is never without cost. Thank you veterans, police and firefighters for your service.
On Veterans Day we celebrate the service, sacrifice, and enduring achievements of over 21 million living Americans who served our Nation in uniform so that we may enjoy the freedoms we cherish so much. On Nov. 1st President Trump proclaimed November as Veterans and Military Families Month honoring our Veterans all month long, not just on Veterans Day. However, for the men and women of the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center and its community based outpatient clinics, every day is Veterans Day as we are privileged to serve and care for over twenty thousand men and women who have served in the armed forces.
Today, we are confronted with the sad reality that twenty Veterans on average commit suicide each day. Fourteen of those twenty Veterans do not receive VA health care, and of the six that do, only three use VA's mental health services and programs.
Suicide prevention is the VA's top clinical priority. It is one of the reasons VA recently lifted restrictions on providing urgent mental health care for those Veterans discharged under than honorable conditions, estimated at a little more than five hundred thousand Veterans. A discharge for other than honorable conditions typically prevents Veterans from receiving VA healthcare.
The VA, however, cannot tackle this problem alone. Suicide prevention is everyone's business. We believe it is important for us to partner with our Veterans, their families, community organizations, and the public to reach those Veterans who need help and do not realize the services they need are close by.
One resource is VA's 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line, which Veterans can call at 800-273-8255 (press 1). Since its launch in 2007 through September 2017, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered over 3.1 million calls and initiated the dispatch of emergency services to callers in imminent crisis over 82,000 times. Since launching chat in 2009 and text services in November 2011, the VCL has answered nearly 365,000 and over 82,000 requests for chat and text services respectively. Crisis Line staff have forwarded nearly 525,000 referrals to local VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators on behalf of Veterans to ensure continuity of care with Veterans local VA providers.
For more information on how you can help a Veteran in need use #BeThere (www.VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere). This November is an opportunity to thank Veterans in our communities for their service and sacrifice. Helping a Veteran in crisis provides them the ultimate honor.
James W. Rice,
Medical Center Director
The Freedom Fairy
Once upon a time, you've often heard
To begin some tale, sublime, absurd
But listen friend and please recall,
Not long ago the vanquished wall
The world rejoiced, freedom returned
Sweet taste of liberty finally discerned
Millions in Europe for decades repressed
Infant democracy finally expressed
Was this victory won, acknowledge the truth
Like a young child who lost a first tooth?
In bed dreaming of candy and honey,
Expecting a fairy will leave them some money!
Or by some magic from beyond?
Pumpkin to coach by wave of a wand
Mice into steeds, maid to a ball,
Or dash away, dash away, dash away all?
No, freedom is real, sweet and hard won,
Sometimes using the point of a gun.
Blood often spilling into the earth
Invested in liberty, testing our worth
Pacifists marching as is their right
Accuse our country of causing each plight
Claiming our losses are not on a par,
With innocent victims in countries afar
According to them, we're rarely right
They just want peace, shunning the fight
Live and let live is their hue and cry,
Accusing, abusing, enthusing the lie
One can't help but notice, no fairy around,
Defending their freedom, just men who astound!
May God bless our country, guide us aright,
With courage and wisdom, throughout this night.
The members of Menominee American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit 146, would like to extend a sincere appreciation to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces, and encourage everyone to extend a thank you to a veteran on Nov. 11, Veteran's Day for protecting this great country " The United States of America. The American Legion Auxiliary recognizes veterans for having a sense of duty, and courage when they answered the call to serve, and protect their country's freedom, and security.
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to their organization's mission: In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support the American Legion, and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security. In addition, our commitment is to the four founding principles: Justice, Freedom, Democracy, and Loyalty.
Since there will be various veteran commemorative ceremonies taking place in our area, the public is encouraged to attend the following upcoming memorial services: Nov. 11, 11:00 a.m., Riverside Cemetery, Menominee; City of Menominee will dedicate the development of a new Veterans' Lot southeast of the chapel to accommodate an additional 250 plus veterans who served in the military. Also, December 2, 10:00 a.m., Riverside Cemetery, Menominee; ALA Unit 146 will place approximately 250 Christmas wreaths in the Veteran's Memorial Section similar to the national Wreaths across America placement held at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia to remember the fallen heroes who served, and sacrificed as veterans to preserve America's freedom.
Remember our veterans on Nov. 11, and extend a "thank you".
Public Relations chairman
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 146,
Menominee, Mich. 49858
To the Editor:
"Windy Autumn Mornings"
On windy autumn mornings,
When the breath has been taken out of me,
And leaves scatter and dance on the ground,
Like Fairies in some ritual rite.
I am consumed by all the beauty,
Of this autumn paradise,
It drowns me in dreams,
Of ancient castles and purple dragons,
And journeys into faraway lands,
Where mountains touch the stars of the night.
And raindrops cleanse the unharvested fields,
Oh, to be a child again,
To dream once more of racing through the rain,
Chasing dragons flying in the sky.
Alongside butterflies int he scarlet clouds,
And run I shall these tired legs,
Down secret paths made by unicorns,
Through all the colors of the spectrum,
On windy autumn mornings.
Letter to Editor:
Menominee County Sheriff thanks the public for voting on the Emergency Response/24-Hour Road Patrol Millage and continuing it for another sixyears. Unofficial results reported were 2,118 "YES" Votes and 652 "NO" Votes. Marks said the affirmation and support is for what is done in Menominee County to serve and protect the public.
He and the deputies have spoken with many people. "We went door to door and to meetings, talked with the people of Menominee County and humbly asked you for your support and for your vote. The significance of this, each time the millage goes before the voters, can't be understated. It humbles us and it reminds us who we are accountable to; YOU! We are always accountable to you! We live in your communities. We have a personal stake in preserving public safety. You can vote us in and you can vote us out! That is truly what is special about being a Road Patrol Deputy or a Sheriff.
"We are not measured by the number of arrests and citations we generate, we are measured by how well we have solved problems in our communities and how well you believe that we have served and protected you. You measure our value each time you vote on a millage. We will continue to work hard to improve our services so we can be of even greater value to our great County!
Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks
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