Just A Little Walk In The Woods

with the Delta Raiders

Company D, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)

Our Forgotten Heroes

A very dear friend of mine reminded me recently of just how good I, and most all of us have it compared to so many of the bravest people alive... our forgotten heroes. The words she spoke stung like a hot iron rod thrust deep into my heart, but every word was so very true.

Her words have been a much needed wakeup call for me after sitting here worrying about so many trivial things that have happened in the past few days... trivial compared to the life long struggle that our wounded brothers and sisters have to deal with every single day of their lives. I needed to be reminded just how easy we have it compared to our heroes.. the veterans who's names didn't quite make it to the Wall in Washington DC, but who have never fully recovered enough from their wounds to live a normal life like you and I.

A normal life if not for a single bullet or piece of shrapnel... one small piece of lead that came in a single moment of time, faster than a heartbeat, from a single enemy rifle... fired by a soldier who didn't want to be there either. A bullet fired during a war that seemed to go on forever, but in retrospect only lasted for a moment itself when compared to the continuous struggle, the 30 year struggle to recover from the wounds that changed their lives and futures forever. A single bullet that may have missed me by only inches, leaving me with much more to worry about or contend with than being transferred to the night shift or temporarily losing a small percentage of my pay due to the poor economy.

I only mentioned our wounded veterans here, but there are many more men and women who suffer from service related illnesses who have also been struggling for their lives and forgotten. Illnesses caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam, chemicals used in the Gulf War or just the sheer horrors of witnessing and experiencing war itself.

So here I sit in my nice soft chair in my big private cubical feeling sorry for myself about having to go to 2nd shift for awhile and about being inconvenienced for a mere moment in time, while our heroes continue to go through their never ending routine of surgery, IV's, dialysis, and chemo... many bound to wheel chairs (or even to a bed) forgotten for the most part, and alone... bravely and quietly fighting on.

I want to thank my friend for sending that email, reminding me just how much more worse things could be for me. And for reminding me of something that I, especially as a veteran, should never have forgotten... my brothers and sisters who struggle every day just to survive while I am able to enjoy all the things that many of them can't. Simple things that we all take for granted... like getting email from friends, or cooking out on a grill so I can have a nice meal in the back yard with the family... a family that many of them were never allowed to have.

We have forgotten our wounded and sick veterans... and warehoused many of them in nursing homes and VA Hospitals to let them die alone and suffering in pain... with few family or friends or contact with the outside world. So please, the next time you drive past a VA Hospital, or a nursing home with veterans in it, take a moment to think about these forgotten heroes of ours, and perhaps even stop by and say thank you to them.

My friend told me that very few, if any nursing homes have PC's available so veterans can visit websites like this... websites dedicated to them for the sacrifices they made so that we are free to build websites. I would ask any nursing home and VA Hospital executives or board members who happen to visit here to please consider setting up a PC with Internet access for our forgotten heroes, so they can visit these sites and even visit veteran chat rooms... so they can locate their long lost buddies from the war and chat with them... so they can at least enjoy this one thing that we all take for granted. I would also ask those of you who care about our heroes to visit a nursing home or VA Hospital and ask them if they have PC's available for their veterans to use... and if not, would they make one available.

If you would like to help, but arenít sure how... or donít have the time, click on the link below and visit with the Kitchen Table Gang. There are other sites listed below that you can visit for information as well.


Disabled American Veterans home page


The Forgotten  -  Letter from Military Doctor  -  Chip Collins

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