Wednesday, August 15, 2007

FREE VOTE!!! Vote Early! Vote Often!

As some of you know, Miss LL the Loopy Libertarian - aka Mama Bear - does a great deal of volunteer work for our military folks. Recently she went to the Milblog Conference, where she was asked to sit on the board of a new charity: http://americaswoundedheroes.org/. She said she wasn't qualified and turned it down. They came back and begged a bit and twisted her arm ever so nicely and...well, you know. There's a reason we call her Mama Bear. A couple reasons, actually.

Of course, as so many of us know, one of those reasons is how she jumps in feet first to rescue our sorry ignorant selves when our blogs get all mangled up and she is THE go-to gal to fix them. She zips in and bops around with her Blogger-code-radar brain, and like 2 seconds later you pull that sucker up and it's all pretty again! Try to thank her and she may well get all growly on ya. heh!

Now she needs a very simple thing back from us. And people? She has MORE than earned it. AND!!! She ALSO just passed her 2-year blogiversary. It's Blogiversary Present Time! She knows exactly what she wants for her blog birthday, and it's free, and it takes only a couple minutes, and really it's not even for her at all. How often does that happen? So listen up.

First, here's some of what America's Wounded Heroes does:

Provide financial assistance to military personnel, policemen, firefighters, and EMT's wounded in service who have put their lives at risk to protect and serve American citizens. Enable such persons to obtain relief in the area of special adaptive mobility equipment such as motorized wheelchairs, golf carts, segways, and other mobility devices not provided for by the government and private insurance. Give such persons monetary grants for the transition from hospitals or rehabilitation facilities back to active service or monetary grants needed for the transition from hospitals or rehabilitation facilities back to civilian life.

Me, I like this sort of thing, very much. I mean, come ON. I'm a scooter person, okay? I'm also a person who needs oxygen and can't get it because I worked so hard to bring my lungs back to relative health that I got UNdiagnosed with COPD, which is supposedly medically impossible.

Voila! Medicare now refuses to pay for my oxygen: they only provide it for COPD. It's not allowed for other lung conditions like dyspnea (shortness of breath, a contributing factor in getting new lung infections). Oxygen is expensive, and I can't afford it on my own. And yes, I do still need it. I just spent three days in the hospital not long ago because of another lung infection. Yeah. Oxygen is actually beneficial for things like dyspnea and preventing and healing lung infections. It's why the hospital gave it to me. Gee. Go figger.

So we have some issues here that I can really relate to. Many are issues that few other such charities assist with, yet they're truly important ones.

Now, most of my own health problems are simply happenstance. I got rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 8. My immune system has malfunctioned for so long now I can't remember what it's like to feel no pain even for a minute, much less a full day. I became superallergic at 22. Things went downhill from there. None of the big stuff was because of my job or any actions I myself took. Sometimes stuff just happens, and with me, that's what it did.

As an alternative, imagine this for me: Say you were one of the first responders working to rescue people, then to recover bodies, from the World Trade Center bombing. Remember how we watched them on TV, some of us glued to that screen all day and all night with tears streaming down our faces, watching the responders working round the clock until they dropped from exhaustion - then they'd take a two hour nap, get back up and do it again.

As a responder out there it was a point of honor to keep going, never to stop until there was nothing left to do. Your family saw little of you, you rarely ate or rested. This was more important. Your government told you the air was safe to breathe, so you didn't use any masks or respirators as you worked. No: You were alive. You survived it. Why would you even dream of complaining about the work or the air?

Six years have passed. Time and toxic dust have taken their toll. Your lungs are shot. You were - I'll call it *misinformed* - about the dangers of breathing that air without protection. Now you can't breathe right, and strange illnesses and fatigue overwhelm you. You can no longer work. You have a family who depends on you, not just for income, but for ordinary day to day needs like getting the grocery shopping done.

But you can't do that. You're too sick.

So, being a fairly logical and reasonable person, you go tell the Social Security folks: too sick to work = disabled; I wish it hadn't happened to me but it did, and I need help. You may even get your approval determination in a fairly smooth manner. What you haven't seen yet is this: the Social Security approval doesn't mean it's over.

Because here comes good old Medicare, and they tell you, --Oh, no, the government determined the air was perfectly fine over at the World Trade Center, so you see there can't be anything that wrong with your lungs; sorry, no oxygen for you. And about that mobility problem you have? How you can walk, some - but when you try to park, then walk into the store, and shop, and then walk back to the car, you're so fatigued and dizzy you can't drive home? So even though by Social Security standards you're disabled and can't work full time, and even though you really aren't able to get around like any grownup should? Well...sorry. You actually CAN walk SOME. So by our standards you're just not quite disabled enough in THAT specific way, so no Medicare scooter for YOU.

Or: Say you were badly wounded in the service, or on the job as a cop or EMT. It's been a long haul but after loads of surgeries and physical therapy and hard work and medication, you think you can work again. Okay, in a limited fashion, but still. There are things you can do even though you lost too many limbs or whatever to work your old job. All you need is some extra mobility help to get around at a new job...but wait a minute! No, that's not an actual MEDICAL need really. Nope. You can get by without it, medically speaking. Hey, that's what you've BEEN doing. Extra mobility to get around certain buildings at a certain job or so forth, that's just a work need. Not medical, not covered. So...sorry Charlie, you have to get that on your own.

Even though, of course, since you haven't been working, and any disability pay you get is nowhere near your old income, you most certainly are not able to afford any of that equipment on your own. Nope. You're lucky you can keep your family fed.

Stuff like that. Yes indeed, it happens all the time. Just trust me on that, okay?

This charity provides those things to the people who lost their health when on the job, working for US. For you and for me.

Think about that for a minute.

They lost their life as they knew it because they were fighting our war, or policing our neighborhood, or rescuing those who survived the World Trade Center bombing, or were speeding to respond at a serious accident scene and some fool ignored their ambulance's lights and siren and crashed into them.

And the assistance they need to regain what life they can after their debilitating injuries and/or illnesses is NOT provided to them by the government they were working for. That's actually us, there, the people they were working for.

This sort of thing really matters to me, okay? They gave way much to us - and even though we want to, we're not always making it up to them.

So here's our Mama Bear, busily rebuilding America's Wounded Heroes' new webpage, and suddenly a funding opportunity comes along. It's from a site called VAJoe, which exists to help military folks. They're doing a voting contest. Pick your favorite charity and they'll donate funds to the top winning charities.

Whee!

Mama Bear sees a way to get this new charity some funding. Oh yes.

And all it needs from us is a VOTE. Not money, okay? Just a free VOTE.

Go there, please. Click this link: http://www.vajoe.com/charity/. It only takes a minute or two. You do need to fill in some information on the first page. You do NOT need to do it on the second page. NO unrequested emails will show up in your box, no one will bother you, no one will sell your address to those nasty spammers. No no no.

And if you should happen to have other family members handy? Ask them to vote too. You only get one vote for yourself. But everyone you know, they can vote too. Even your kids! In fact, here are some fine examples of how other folks go about doing that. Check out the comments.

Whether any of those voters are using extra email accounts and so forth to vote more than once is something I know nothing about. I am, after all, a true blue technolame-o.

But I will say that there are times when doing something like that for a good cause is not necessarily such a bad thing. Should you be tempted to do so, of course, I'm the last person to tell you how to go about doing it. That lame-o thing there.

If you do, though, I promise I won't tell.

GO! VOTE! VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!

7 comments:

Jean said...

done.

Jan said...

Wow..you do have a way with words, girl!

If that doesn't convince someone that voting for that worthy cause is a good thing..nothing will.

I voted yesterday, myself!

k said...

Well thank you, ladies!

Snog Dot said...

Done it. Several times!

prettylady said...

Done! It looked like we were doing pretty well...

Nancy said...

They're blocking IP addresses now.....sigh. Which means hubby dear can't get in to vote...

k said...

I heard! Oh well. We did our best!

See? Voting is FUN! And interestingly changeable.