Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I Dream of Fathering a Child who asks, “Daddy, What is War?”

Who is Maggie Lockridge?: A good friend of mine, Jim Wilson introduced me to Maggie Lockridge. Who is Maggie? She’s just a dynamo of a woman who founded the Iraq Star Foundation, To quote Maggie, “The statistics are grim. More than 24,000* brave men and women have returned wounded from Iraq. They must now face the daunting challenge of recovery. The military will replace the missing arms and legs with prosthetics, provide the initial surgeries to close the wounds and grafts to replace the burned flesh, striving tirelessly to make our veterans functional people. But the fact stands that terrible scarring from shrapnel, burns, and wound trauma remain. Surgeries are still needed to help our veterans gain back their pre-war lives, to assist them in holding their heads high, and help them return to their homes and careers.” Visit Maggie’s site and offer your help. They fought for you. Now it’s your turn. *the numbers have since passed 30,000 wounded

Although she won’t admit it: Maggie Lockridge is herself a hero – or heroine if you are of a more traditional ilk. Maggie is a registered nurse, an air force veteran, and former owner of a plastic surgery recovery center. Thanks to her tireless efforts Iraq Star now consists of more than 140 reconstructive surgeons and plastic surgeBoldons in more than 28 states who volunteer their time. Still, Maggie needs your help, for even with the donated time of the surgeons each reconstructive surgery can cost up to $ 10,000. I urge you to go to her web page noted above. Additional information on Maggie can be found at and

Memorial Day Facts: Following the Civil War many communities set aside a day as a memorial to honor those who died. In 1868 the custom of decorating graves of fallen soldiers changed the name to Decoration Day. Several southern states refused to use the term “Decoration Day” so it was changed to “Memorial Day” around 1882, although many continued to refer to it as “Decoration Day.” In 1968 Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday.

Veteran Facts by the Numbers: There are more than 25 million living veterans in the United States according to Statistical Abstracts. Of that number nearly two million are women. More than 10 million have passed their 65th birthday. Viet Nam veterans number more than 8 million and represent one of every three U.S. veterans. Women account for 2% of Korean War veterans, 3% of Viet Nam vets, 5% of World War II vets, and 16% of Gulf War vets. No data are available for the number of women among Iraq war veterans. What do California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio have in common? All have sent more than one million veterans to protect our country. This is a perfect time to mention the G.I. Bill, recently passed by the senate. Here’s hoping it will pass the House as well.

On a personal note, I had the honor of knowing one Congressional Medal of Honor winner. Capt. Reginald Desiderio of Clairton, PA was posthumously awarded the medal during the Korean war.

A little blogging music Maestro... One more time with Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”

Dr. Forgot

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