Monday, April 06, 2009

By The People

I received an envelope this weekend from WILL-TV, that contained a DVD with all of the videos from the Lincoln Readings that we did back in October. You asked me to let you know when the videos are available, so I'm letting you know: They're out there. To see all of them, click here: WILL TV: By The People.

The only excerpt that Clint and I caught on the air was the opening medley of all of the participants reading the Gettysburg address.

Here's how mine went:

I wish we would have had an opportunity to meet everyone that read for the series, but we met only the young man that read after I did: Garrett Anderson.

An interesting sidenote is that though I'd never met him, I recommended him as a reader. A blog-reader-turned-friend, StFarmer, invited me to a luncheon in which I met a young veteran named Rob. Rob, in turn, told me about his friend Garrett, who had lost an arm in Iraq, and now did some public speaking about his experience there. "Children love him," I remember.

You know I kind of have a special place in my heart for soldiers, and Garrett is no exception. He's had a tough go with his injuries, and still has to battle the VA to get proper medical coverage. Here's an excerpt about Garrett, from Vets Under Siege.

Having only talked to him for a few minutes, I admire the hell out of him. He arrived early for his taping, and sat through mine, in between takes going over his own. He's very straight forward, and boldly approached the producer with one request: "My tongue was blown up and put back together. I cannot pronounce this phrase, we need to edit." When I spoke to him briefly, months later, in my own search for soldiers at Christmas, he matter-of-factly stated "I was blown up before Christmas." It takes you aback for a second, but sometimes I think we need to be taken aback.

Anyone that watches this Garrett's reading wouldn't know what he's been through, or what he goes through now. His injuries are not reflected, and his title is "Iraqi War Veteran." The last line, as he reads it, buckles me.

Well, this post just got away from me. I intended to give you a couple of links and be done with it, but I get carried away with unsung heroes, y'know? I have to make sure you know about them.

I just do.

Oh, and check out all that Lincoln stuff.


  1. Oh Sweetie, I am so proud of you for participating in this. And I'm going to embarrass you by saying that Lincoln's words apply to you as surely as anyone else. Truly.

    I am very angry after reading about Garret's treatment by the VA. Have things changed at all?

  2. Lincoln is great. I love Lincoln. If possible, I would mark myself as a fan of Lincoln on Facebook.

    Keep writing about the unsung heroes. We already know about Lincoln.

    Proud of you. ;)

  3. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Awesome job by both of you!!!!! So glad you posted a link for those of us who don't see t.v., except for once in a blue moon.

    I am very outraged by Garrett's story. It is very sad, that we can support women and children to reproduce and nothing more, but we give our soldiers the boot and let them deal with the not only the emotional issues they face, but let's just add in the extra medical expenses as well. It doesn't matter that they have given up so much already.
    Sorry about venting, I'd rather support a soldier who has done something and skip the welfare crowd altogether.

  4. Great story! Just an FYI, the first WILL-TV text link is broken. Just need to take out the in front of the URL. (Feel free to not post this comment)

  5. I should put out there that I don't know where Garrett is with his "battle" with the VA right now. His injuries were incurred 4 years ago, and I pray that all wrongs have been righted.

    Joel, thanks for the heads up!

  6. That was nearly perfect Lori. For all that details of preparations, you sound surprisingly calm and contained :)

    As for Garrett, Hat's off to you Sir!

  7. StFarmer8:47 PM

    I'm so happy that Rob introduced you to Garret. I wish I had Rob's email address for you but he has left the internship program and now works for GE. I think he is in MN.

    Great job by both you and Garret!

  8. iirc, Anderson finally won his VA battle a while back ago, but the initial denial/delay was outrageous to say the least.

    My first VA denial was that I had proved an injury in the service, but did not have enough medical evidence to show I had a current problem related to it.

    My second VA denial was that I proved I had current problems due to an injury, but that I couldn't prove that it happened in the service.

    It took more than a few years, but eventually I dumped enough redundant proof on them they gave up and accepted the facts.

    It was endlessly frustrating when it happened to me, just some schmoe that got injured in the service, not combat. It was infuriating when decorated combat soldiers were coming back and I started hearing about them getting the same treatment. Anderson's story is one that's hard to forget, and hopefully voters won't forget it either when they hear politicians focus more on quotas for adjudicating claims than accurately adjudicating claims in a timely fashion.

    Lawyers are allowed to help vets in VA appeals now, and there are some handy resources on the web from guys who either know or know the right guy to answer questions. Jim Strickland's mailbag and VA claim guide on is the best I've ever seen to cut through the rumors and misinformation floating out there and get the facts, even if they're unpleasant.

  9. Wow. That was really great. You are one Cool Chica, you are.

  10. Great post Lori.

    We don't hear enough from the unsung heros.

  11. You were great! That was the perfect reading for you, too. Good going!


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