Happy Memorial Day.
I know that relatively few of us go to national cemeteries on this day of remembrance, but please take a moment and have a good, long, look at one of the flags that adorn our towns and cities today, and remember those good people, current and past, who have protected our liberties.
Which brings up another mixed news thought: the number of new nonprofits who have sprung up to fill the gaps in services for our current and former military. Now, the government SHOULD be doing these things, but they don't so who fills the gap? Nonprofits.
Take, for example, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Formed initially to make unrestricted grants to families of service personnel lost in Afghanistan and Iraq (since the death benefit was so low), the Fund changed direction when Congress responded by raising the benefit. It has begun construction on a world-class rehab center to work with those military personnel.
"who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The center will also serve military personnel and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the normal performance of their duties, combat and non-combat related."
How much did this cost? Over $35 million, all in private donations. Should the federal government be doing this? Of course it should. But they aren't and these people can't wait for Congress and the Pentagon to dither, so a nonprofit was formed and is responding.
Sounds a bit like Katrina without the wind and rain: A crisis, government unresponsive, nonprofits jump into the fray and deal with the issue. Good for the Fund, and for the other nonprofits who are helping our service men and women.
Finally, no matter what you may think about the war, don't take it out on the troops. Support the troops, and if you oppose the war, let your elected officials know.
But support the troops. Even if our own government sometimes short-changes them.