Some of our injured troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are facing a ridiculous and unnecessary obstacle. Because they have been discharged early, they are not receiving their full enlistment bonuses. Some are even be asked to return payments they have already received.
A new bill that would ensure this does not continue is gaining momentum in Congress, and lawmakers need to hear from civilians who support it. We can help our nations’ veterans on this critical issue.
Please take a minute to send a message to your representatives, and tell them you support this bill. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has made it easy – just visit www.iava.org
The department of defense has known about this issue for many months and continues to do nothing. Please go to the link above and send a letter to your representatives. The link pretty much does all the work for you. You only need to add your address and an email will be sent automatically to the correct local congressional representatives in your area. The link also allows you to pass this information on to other friends in your address book if you wish.
Directions to the VA Hospital in Palo Alto: I received a request from a couple of Marines in Sam’s battery asking for directions to the VA hospital in Palo Alto from Camp Pendelton in Oceanside. That lead me to update the page titled “Palo Alto VA” that you can find as a tab menu at the top of this blog. If you click on that tab, there will be a new section titles “Directions from Camp Pendelton / Oceanside”. If you scroll down further, there will be “Directions from the Sacramento Area”. I’ve also added links to Google Maps which will give you more detailed directions and maps from both locations.
Special Visit from Doc Hansen: In my August 12th post, I wrote about the Navy Corpsman Doc Hansen who was the first person to give medical treatment to Sam and who probably saved his life. Yesterday Doc Hanson came up from Camp Pendelton to visit Sam and Erin. As always, we are so honored that the Doc and other members of Kilo Battery have taken the time to come up and visit.
Christmas Gift Idea for Erin and Sam: A couple of people have asked me about Christmas gift ideas for Sam and Erin, so I wanted to share a couple of ideas with you. Luckily Erin doesn’t have a lot of expenses, but she is starting to drive up to Sacramento, so I thought a gas gift card might be very handy for her. If you are looking for a gift for Sam and Erin’s family as a whole (to help with ever increasing transportation and lodging expenses), a gas card sent to Erin would also be very helpful. Many of us drive down once a week from Sacramento to Palo Alto which means about $50.00 in gas per trip. Erin could even use the gift cards as Christmas presents for her family so she doesn’t have to dip into her savings. If you are interested, here is a link to the Chevron Gift Card web site, or I’m sure you could pick up their gift card at a Chevron station. Why did I pick Chevron? They are involved in the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, so I thought it was a nice way to thank them for their participation in this worthy cause.
Sam’s medical status:
Thursday November 29th, 2007: Speech therapy went well today; although Sam still is only able to make a few grunts here and there. He is still doing very well at answering the questions of the therapist with his finger signing.
Sam got weighed today and is at 163.8 lbs. He’s gained back the two pounds he lost in the last few weeks when he was having stomach flu type symptoms. His urinary tract infection test also came back negative.
Tuesday November 27th, 2007: Doc Hanson bought Sam a whistle to help him with his speech therapy. Erin said Sam did get a couple of sounds out of it. There were also lots of other visitors today—Aunt Dean, Uncle Charles and Julie’s cousin Terri from Northern Idaho. Also Sam’s brother and girlfriend were in town visiting. It’s so nice to be surrounded by love!
Happy birthday Erin (she’s 24 today)…we ALL love you!