Monday, September 21, 2009

Leavenworth Road Parade 09/20/09

From the Kansas City, Kansan

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Power of One...

It's been another interesting week in what is becoming one of the most memorable year's of my life. I've been sitting here viewing the videos on YouTube from the Washington D.C. Tea Party last Saturday. Some of the videos made me feel I was there in the crowd....almost. Some made me laugh, some made me cry and some just made me angry. Why has it come to this moment in our lives and in our County's life and what could one person really do about it.

I had to think on it.

Joe, my husband, and I couldn't make it to D.C. We were busy with other important matters. I am trying to run a political campaign, and yes, on busy days it is a bit like herding cats. The first event last Saturday, for Dan Gilyeat, my candidate for Kansas' 3rd District Congressman, was the CABA parade on Central Avenue in Kansas City, KS. He was there first and had already set up his booth.

He was supposed to be in the Parade but as usual, life had other matters for him to attend to. Dan started talking to the folks and by the time he remembered the parade, it was passing us by. That wasn't a metaphor for failure.

Life had demanded Dan's attention to another wounded vet. A young man stopped when he saw Dan's prosthetic leg. He was an amputee too but he wasn't doing too well. He lost his leg in Afghanistan and he told Dan he was having trouble getting his VA benefits. He was living on the streets and obviously had a drinking problem.

Dan talked to him and tried to offer encouragement. He gave the thin, unshaven Vet a card and told him to get in touch with him when he could and they exchanged an embrace, a show of love and mutual respect that only could be felt by men and women who have been through these awful things. It was a quick encounter and it left Dan a bit shaken. He said he has seen too many of these men, who live on the streets and have to fight their Government to get even a small measure of what is truly owed to them.

Dan offered to help him, right there, right then but the young Vet just kept moving away from him. He and a companion walked away with all their worldly possessions tucked inside their backpacks. Dan said it was that way with more than a few of our returning wounded Vets. He wants to change that.

Our second stop of the day was at the Grinter House Apple Fest. Dan had an appointment at a very important booth. The Gold Star Mothers. These women deserve the fullest measure of respect for the price they have paid for the defense of our Country. The loss of a child to a War is born by these women and their families everyday. Dan saw old friends and shared embraces with each Mother in the booth. They shared personal, private moments and more than a few tears. The meeting was brief but intense. We rounded up Dan's kids and moved on.

The last event of the day was Johnson County Old Settlers event in Olathe, Kansas. The event was huge. A Parade, a Carnival, strolling entertainment, booths full of crafts, quilts, entrepreneurs selling everything from siding to souvenirs, Church groups, Political Parties and Food, especially food.

Dan and four of his kids greeted people as they passed the booth and passed out campaign literature. Dan even managed to spend a few moments with Patricia Lightner, another Candidate for the 3rd District Congressional seat. The day was winding down. My husband and I shared hot dogs and root beer with Dan and the kids and then we headed home.

Dan is just one man. But he truly wants to make a difference. He'll do it too. One person at a time.