With the holidays ahead (only 62 shopping days!), I’m looking for ways to handle my aggravation. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the next two months stress me out a lot. Everything I do, even the most mundane tasks, are complicated in the most infuriating ways.
For example, do I have a meeting in mid-town? I’ll have to walk blocks out of my way to avoid the crush around the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the Fifth Avenue department store windows. If I should need to buy something in one of those stores, please shoot me.
This year seems especially bad to me because the recession makes everyone that much more desperate, looking for someone to blame. The news shows that I watch, on broadcast and cable, pit Democrats and Republicans (or, if you prefer, liberals and conservatives) against each other like two sports teams, competing in an arena where there can be only one winner.
I’m not Christian, so I could be wrong, but I don’t think Christmas is supposed to be about smiting your enemies (actually, that’s pretty much what Hanukkah is about). I’ve been told it’s supposed to be about Joy to the World, Peace on Earth, and commie hippie stuff like that.
In that spirit, I’d like to suggest a cause that all people of good will can support. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Libertarian or a Socialist, a pacifist or a member of the NRA. The group is called Vets Helping Heroes. They raise money to train therapy dogs for veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I hate these wars. I wish we didn’t have soldiers. However, I stand right next to my fellow Americans in wanting the best for them.
Because of improvements in medicine, soldiers are recovering from injuries that would have killed them before. Unfortunately, medicine has not improved enough to cure them. Serious head injuries, loss of limbs, PTSD – these are conditions are veterans will be living with for decades.
Irwin Stovroff is a friend of my father’s and a World War II vet. He has an amazing story about getting shot down over Germany, which you can read here . Irwin saw these soldiers when he volunteered at his local Veterans Administration. A dog lover, he did some research and discovered that therapy dogs – specially trained animals trained to meet the physical and emotional needs of their patient – were especially effective.
Unfortunately, it costs $50,000 to train a dog and a soldier to work together. And this is not currently an expense in the military budget (This will change if Section 1077 passes, a bipartisan bill, introduced by Representative Ron Klein as part of the National Defense Authorization Act). Irwin and his organization have raised nearly $2 million, but there is an enormous need.
Recently, Fox News did a story about this, and the contributions rolled in. I know that readers of Michael Davis World can do better. Please take a look at the website and send what you can. If you don’t want to donate online, you can send a check to:
Vets Helping Heroes
7374 Woodmont Ct.
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Tell them I sent you. And don’t expect me to ever refer to Fox News again.
Martha Thomases, Media Goddess, used to have Nancy (1963-1973), the best dog in the whole wide world.