Add Your Name to the Open Letter to the President

I just found this over at the Sgt. Sam Nichols TBI recovery blog:

Over the past year and a half, my daughter Erin has spent 8 to 14 hours a day in various military hospitals at the bedside of her husband Sam, a US Marine severely injured in Iraq by a roadside bomb.  It has become Erin’s dream to go back to school to become a speech therapist so that she can help Sam and other wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars learn to speak again.  She hopes to one day work in a veterans hospital.  One of the provisions of the new GI Bill is the option to allow servicemembers to transfer their GI Bill education funding to a spouse or dependent.  But—the military has been dragging its feet on getting the regulations in place, so servicemembers are still waiting for that benefit.  The Obama Administration can and must get the bureaucracy moving and make this benefit a reality.

In the coming months, President Obama has a unique opportunity to make a series of critical decisions impacting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Sign the open letter urging him to enact these four critical policies in his first 100 days:

    · Ensure that veterans don’t have to fight for funding for hospitals and clinics.

    · Prioritize veterans in the economic stimulus package. (Note: It may be a little late for this, but it’s still a good idea.)

    · Implement GI Bill transferability.

    · Aggressively address troops’ mental health injuries.

Add your name to the open letter here.

I just did

Hitting the 10,000 mark today

I just checked my blog stats, and lo and behold, I’ve reached the 10,000 hits mark.  Actually 10,092, but what’s a few more? More is good! 🙂

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for stopping by. This journey is a solitary one for me, as it is for so many tbi survivors, in part because brain injury is so baffling to the person who’s been hurt, and in part because our society is still woefully ignorant about the true effects of brain injury and doesn’t have a lot of tolerance for people who got hit on the head and aren’t able to just jump up and say, “I’m okay — I’m good.

Given the kinds of comments that people leave, TBI really is a big concern with a lot of folks — especially those affected by injuries in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq… returning soldiers and their families and friends and coworkers… and more. And given the amount of traffic over time, it seems to me that interest is really picking up and people are getting pro-active about dealing with TBI — either their own, or a loved one’s.

This really makes me happy. (Not that TBI happens, but that there’s more interest and information.) Over the years, as I’ve experienced injuries, I was unable to get the help I needed, first because 35 years ago, people didn’t know much about this brain injury stuff. And later because I wasn’t able to accurately self-assess my own situation and see that I needed help.

Now, with more and more info getting out there, more blogs, more websites, more YouTube videos, people are better able to find the help they need — either online, or through live resources they locate by online means.

Hitting the 10,000 mark is so invigorating for me! And it’s helping me focus more — on life outside my broken brain. It’s all too easy for me to slide into my “pity pot” and bemoan my fate… when (relatively speaking) I’m doing way better than a lot of folks out there. I’m not making light of my own difficulties, but I have to get some perspective at times and realize that A) I’m not the center of the universe whose pain matters more than anyone else’s, B) I am extremely fortunate in many respects, and C) that because of both my injuries and my recoveries and my unique abilities, I’m in a position to reach out to others who are in need and offer them some of what I have.

10,000 hits is a great sign that “feeds me” and lets me know that I’m doing something constructive with my time and energy. And it also reminds me of my responsibility (a “calling” if you will) to those who are reaching out for help, with all those search engine terms and queries and all those clicks on tags… looking… searching… seeking clues that will explain the mysteries of the mind and strategies for living life to the best of one’s ability.

And now it’s time for a contributory post. Enough about me… What about you?