Sung and UnSung Heroes

Watching the Concert for Valor I had to think about the concert that plays every day in the Veterans Medical Centers all over. Judging by my hospital I see a symphony of effort and dedication that rarely strikes a sour note. Sure, in an organization that size and overburdened by the rising tide of returning vets in need there will be oversights. But the staff moves quickly to get things back on track.

I have my own personal doctor to oversee my case, my own doctor to deal with my cancer and those who support me in cardiology, radiology, respiration who’re familiar with me and call me by  my first name. I’m not just another face, I’m a person and they show me that I’m important. I have value.

The veterans like me who fought are seen as heroes, but so are the doctors, nurses and technicians who support our desperate need once we’ve stepped from the battlefield and back into a world that can be mystifying, painful, and confusing. He was used to the world of the military unit, a band of brothers and sisters who had his back whether it was oversight under fire or even sharing water. Veterans come back to a world that speeds by with self involved lack of awareness and needs of others. It’s not that the people are bad, they just live in a different world where they can be be free enough to focus on their phones rather than situational awareness because of the efforts of the veterans who suffer nearby.

Vets are people just like you. They want to feel connected, to have value. Many communities have VA Hospitals. Stop by and drop by a card and flower that says Thank You. Drop them off for the vets, but drop them off for the doctors, nurses and techs as well. They’re heroes too and just as deserving of having their gifts rewarded. They work long hours and reduced wages and are immersed in a sea of daily suffering when they could have it easier elsewhere but chose to support needy vets.

Reach out. There are deserving heroes everywhere.

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Recollections and Stories from a Multiple Myeloma Victim