Become an ‘Everyday Hero’ Dear Editor: It’s Red Cross Month and we would like to recognize our everyday heroes who reach out to help their neighbors when they are in need. These everyday heroes are our volunteers who help disaster victims get on the road to recovery. They give blood to help someone in the hospital. They brighten the day of an injured service member in a hospital far from home. They take our classes and step forward to help someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child. March is also a great time to become part of the Red Cross. It’s easy. Household members can work together on a preparedness plan. People can sign up to take a class or volunteer their time. They can give blood or make a financial donation. The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year. In Nebraska and southwest Iowa, the Red Cross responded to 448 local emergencies, assisted 9,588 military families and trained 35,750 people in lifesaving skills. And, people from this area donated 149,086 units of blood. Red Cross Month is observed in dedication of everyone who supports our mission. We are grateful to people for their generosity which enables us to continue our work, and encourage everyone to become an Everyday Hero during Red Cross Month by helping their neighbors. Tricia Quinn Chief Executive Officer American Red Cross Midwest Blood Services Region
Tina Labellarte Chief Executive Officer American Red Cross Nebraska/SW Iowa Region
History of vet’s home significant
Dear Editor: Attention: To Our Neighbors We Jensens have been very much involved with veterans affairs for nearly 20 years. We have been closely, personally involved with the VA facilities of Grand Island, Lincoln, Omaha and Minneapolis. This has been a positive experience, also one that makes us care deeply about events affecting the facilities, the staff, but most of all the veterans. Please listen as we tell you about the history of the Grand Island Veterans Home. It is Nebraska’s oldest and largest home, established in 1887. A resolution is recorded in the Senate Journal of the State of Nebraska Twentieth Regular Session -- Lincoln, Neb. -- Jan. 4, 1887. (1) “That it is the sense of this Senate that a suitable building be erected and grounds provided for the care and comfort of the old soldiers of Nebraska in their declining years.” (2) “That a committee of five be appointed to confer with a committee of the House on indigent soldiers and Marines to take such actions as will look to the establishment of a State Soldiers Home.” The Legislative Bill 247 was passed March 4, 1887 for the establishment of a soldiers home, stipulating that not less than 640 acres be donated for the site. The Grand Island Board of Trade had a meeting with the citizens of the city, held in the Bartenbach Opera House. Within 36 hours, $25,600 was pledged for the purchase of land, which was originally located three miles north of Grand Island. On Oct. 20, 1887, Gov. John M. Thayer placed the cornerstone of the new Soldiers and Sailors Home. Oliver P. Duncan was the first Civil War veteran admitted on June 28, 1888. Originally, only Civil War Union Army veterans were admitted. Later, it was decided that we are one country, and Confederate Army veterans were also admitted. Eventually, veterans serving in all the wars and conflicts were eligible. In 1969, the name was changed to Nebraska Veterans Home to reflect all branches of the service. We are avid students of history and we consider this an epic narrative. As we drive by the Nebraska Veterans Home, we appreciate ever more what has taken place. In the matter of moving the home to Kearney, we are most disappointed that the people of Central Nebraska were not informed and allowed to voice their concerns. In our household, we Jensens represent (1) a veteran, (2) professional nurse, (3) taxpayers. We feel that we should have had a vote. As a veteran, maybe Earl would one day need the services at the home. As a nurse, Diann wonders about transporting every ailing patient from Kearney to the VA Clinic in Grand Island; or are those veterans expected to give up the doctors they know, too? As taxpayers, we both think that $50 million is important to consider . The only hope of changing the governor’s plan to move the Veterans Home is to communicate to the following address: US Dept of Veterans Affairs Atten: Eric K. Shenseki 810 Vermont Ave. Washington D.C. 20420 Thanks for listening. Earl and Diann Jensen Hampton
Youth volunteers appreciated
A special thanks to the members of the Hampton Fire Department for all the extra hours of fighting fires during the recent days of extremely strong gusty winds.
And thanks to them, also, for always being on call at any time day or night, sometimes dealing with ugly situations and even death. We greatly appreciate the time and energy they give to the community for our safety, while often not knowing the circumstances they may have to cope with when going out on a call.
Another group that deserves a bit of recognition is a group of teens who were using their Sunday afternoon cleaning the Hampton school grounds where there were great piles of corn husks. One girl was tromping down the husks in a huge load they already had gathered while several others of the group were off picking up more husks.
When asked who was directing them to do this job, she said they just thought it needed to be done. What a refreshing answer. They were volunteering their time and energy and receiving no pay. Thanks to them for using their vim and vigor in such a positive way.
Singspiration a wonderful event
Dear Editor: Wasn’t that recent Singspiration in Aurora just wonderful?
All the wonderful talent there is here in our little community. You go to your church, and I will go to mine, but let’s all sing together.
Jean Sorensen, Aurora
‘Thanks to God’ message missing
Dear Editor: We just had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday — gathering with family for great food and fellowship and giving thanks to God for the many blessings He has showered upon us!
However, I am deeply troubled, not by what I experienced this Thanksgiving, but by what was missing! The president of our country and other politicians gave public thanks to many, and for many things, but made no mention of thanks to God.
“Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights . . .” James 1:17). The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 92:1, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord . . .” Let’s not forget to give thanks to Whom thanks is due.