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I Called My Veteran Father To Remind Him Old People & Veterans Are Despised In This Society

I called my father today for Veterans Day. My father, now 77, was a medic in the Korean War. He also saw combat.

Dad was not home so I left a message. I told him our society despised old people and veterans because they are often not economically self-sufficient. 

Dad called back to say that he saw most people as “simply indifferent.”

I suggested that if what he was saying was true, that apathy was a bigger insult than dislike and as such, as I said, he is despised. Dad said that view might have some merit.  

Veterans Day has brought my father and I toghether.

Here is the Washington Post report that broke the story of poor care at Walter Reed.

Here is an Anderson Cooper report on homeless Iraq War veterans.

Here is a USA Today story reporting that one in four homeless people are veterans

Here is a link to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

November 12, 2007 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

You Don’t Have To Spend Thanksgiving With Family


Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s a day we are supposed to spend with family, eating a large meal and watching football. If that is what you do, very good for you. You’ll get no argument here. (Despite my dislike of football and all the concussions and long-term disability suffered by football players.)

However, for many people, Thanksgiving is a different holiday than the popular image of the day.

Some spend the day with friends instead of family. Some are alone. 

Maybe you don’t like your family or maybe your schedule or budget does not allow travel to where your family lives. Maybe you’re alone at this point in life.

Whatever Thanksgiving is for you this year, it’s your choice or your circumstance. Many popular notions and conceptions are as unrealistic as the menu in the picture above. How many people are serving pumpkin bread in the shape of a pumpkin? Or mashed turnips?

Each year my wife goes to see her family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. For scheduling reasons I’m unable to go with her or to my parents home in Cincinnati. Most years I’m fortunate enough to get an offer from a co-worker here in Houston to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. I politely decline.

Instead, I drive down the road to Galveston and have a day at the ocean. I eat at some seafood house. It’s always packed and I’m always the only person there by myself. I survive just fine. My observation is that people are too busy stuffing themselves to notice I’m alone.

One year I did not go to Galveston. Instead, I went to the House Of Pies on Kirby Drive in Houston. I had just purchased all three volumes of Robert Remini’s life of Andrew Jackson. I had a lot of reading to do. I sat in that restaurant for maybe three hours reading about President Jackson. It was a wonderful day.

In the House Of Pies that day were gay couples and many people of all types who did not appear to be related. There were all sorts of people in, I’d wager, all sorts of personal  situations.      

All good relationships between people have value. 

All people have value. 

Whatever Thanksgiving brings your way, make the best of it. Life is not like what is shown on TV commercials and TV shows. Life is what it is. Have a very good Thanksgiving.         

November 12, 2007 Posted by | Books, Galveston, Houston, Relationships | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments