Monday, November 12, 2012

From 2009

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

When I began a Veteran’s Day remembrance for 2009, I wasn’t planning on changing what I’d started. Because of the senseless massacre last week at Ft. Hood, I changed my original thoughts.

It’s come to me that we, as Americans, were taught well the manners bestowed us by our heritage and upbringing, no matter what religion, ethnicity or politics within each family.

We’ve become so “nice” that we’re the breeding ground of someone telling us we can’t discipline because it might hurt someone’s feelings. We can’t play certain sports because so-in-so isn’t able to play and feelings might be hurt. We’ve changed grading in schools because we don’t want to hurt feelings.

I want to interject something—my feelings are hurt.

I get a form of waterboarding every time I go to the dentist. Sorry but that’s what happens when you have a cavity. It stands to reason that a cavity of society could withstand water. We have to be “nice” and now there’s a chance those who terrorized our country on 9/11 may be out amongst us. What? Cavities need to be fixed, not let go to rot further.


I cannot begin to express the concern and sorrow I feel for the gentleman who took it upon himself to take out a few of his fellow soldiers for whatever reasoning he possessed at the time.

Our soldiers at this time are put into harm’s way when deployed to war torn countries to defend the freedoms we take for granted. We now desperately cling to those freedoms slipping one by one.

Veterans and current military are supposed to be safe on base. They are supposed to be able to mill about and take care of business and their loved ones. They are supposed to be ready to go and take care of America’s welfare.

They are not supposed to be blindsided on base by one of their own.

I only know what I’ve read about the person who decided fate for others. For me, it’s come to a point that religion, ethnicity, and politics are kaput. These soldiers and civilians deserve justice.

Not everyone will agree and that’s okay. We’re Americans. We’re still free.

Thanks to all military branches, past and present. I love the right to write what I feel and am grateful to those who’ve gone above and beyond to preserve an America I love.

Coming to an understanding----

 A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar       

          I worked for a research program housed in a regional VA facility. I ventured into a room to buy coffee and found not-friendly veterans. Eras and wars have distinct markings. Vietnam often wears disillusionment - like an old glove, one-size-fits-all, misshapen, frazzled, well worn-yet durable and still used. Eyes warily observed me. No hearty welcome while thoroughly examined. I turned to leave and noticed the dollhouse.
          Elegant and magnificently built, trimmed to perfection, brimming with exquisite furnishings, it perched on a pedestal-like table. Drawn to its beauty, I commented on its craftsmanship, immediately evoking animated conversation concerning its history. A man walked me in every room. Pride was evident and excitement contagious. I’d been too busy to create for the joy of accomplishment.
          Seeing multiple crafts in varying degrees of completion, awareness unfolded - I was in the craft room. Veterans weren’t too busy. They were rebuilding lives in a restorative manner with construction of this dollhouse.
All wars carry scars and emotional blemishes. Many left home innocents, joining to make a mark and came home changed - and forever labeled. Especially Vietnam.
          My own mark lay heavily within my soul, burdening my spirit.
          I’m not a veteran. I found myself to be a label maker. I strove for understanding.
          I’d sought in a quest for understanding of why some served without question while others balked to the point of denouncing the very citizenship and freedom others fought to maintain.
          It took getting lost in that craft room of the VA hospital for knowledge to come full circle. These veterans began to open doors. Faces brought names. I wanted what they sought – acceptance--to give back what I’d taken by labeling.
          The dollhouse became a symbol of what it’s about. Home. America. A right to be; to stand; to be beautiful; to be free.
          Finally, I understood.
          It is not a right.
          It is a privilege, often abused.
          In my case I simply didn’t look further than the end of my nose.  
          Thank you seems too trivial and comes out of mouths so easily. There’s no way for those of us who aren’t veterans to know what you’ve given and given up.
          Since then, I’ve verbally thanked every person I’ve seen in a cap or uniform with a “thank you for your service to America.”
          Our privileges are many and blessed because you served.
          Thank you cannot be said enough!