PET MO-Columbia update 5/28/12

We will build 2012 in 2012.
Goal to now: 880. Actual: 901.

Volunteer needed: (We put this request in the Update a few weeks ago. Note
this is only for the local area of the shop. Have you given this thought
and possibly could do this important task for PET? Please contact us. Kathy)

Speakers Bureau coordinator to coordinate PET promotion through speakers and
booths for the mid MO area. We have field promoters across the rest of the
country. When a request for a speaker comes to PET the Speakers Bureau
coordinator they would be responsible for filling it. There is currently a
list of volunteers who are willing to speak, the coordinator would match the
request with the speaker. There are also occasions where PET has a booth at
an activity (such as the recent Earth Day) and the coordinator would also
find volunteers to staff the booth. In addition to matching the volunteer
to the request the Speakers Bureau coordinator would proactively contact
service clubs, churches, etc. to set up speaking engagements. We would also
like to expand our list of volunteers who are willing to speak and willing
to be at a booth. If you are interested in doing any of these things please
contact Mel West or Susan Williams.

*** It is Memorial Day morning, and I am in the PET shop, along with Dick
Hanson and Jim Wall, who are here building PETs. I’ve been preparing two
shipments of PETs, one to Swaziland and one to GAiN, an NGO in PA.

As I palletized, I pondered Memorial Day and my memories of it. In my
“Growing up years” it was called “Decoration Day,” and called forth special
services in churches and communities, the decoration of the graves of all
loved ones (peonies were in bloom) picnic dinners, parades and speeches. As
a rural pastor I was always asked to speak at some special occasion.
Civilian loved ones were given as much attention, generally speaking, as
were the deceased military. (Kathy’s note: I read an answer in the
Parade magazine which I’m going to show Mel. It said Decoration Day was
started in the 1860s and honored fallen Union soldiers. Later soldiers
were recognized from both sides. In the 1960s it became Memorial Day.)

Since then we have fought five wars (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and
Afghanistan) and the emphasis seems to have changed to an “Honor the
Veterans” theme. Our local Columbia airport hosts a several day “Honor the
Veterans” event that costs a huge amount of private and tax money as an
effort to, they say, honor veterans. Personally, I’ve never felt honored by
it.

If I had been asked how I’d like to be honored, I would suggest that we
increase dramatically the treatment of our returning servicemen who are
severely emotionally disturbed by their experiences and injuries, that we
give more money and attention to enabling the war-widows to have decent
housing and school their children, that we improve the housing of military
families living on military bases, and that we establish a Department of
Peace in Washington D.C., to train leaders in how to avoid wars in the first
place. I would want much more money and attention to go to helping our
returning veterans assimilate back into civilian life.

If I were near Golden City, MO, I would go and decorate the graves of my
parents and kin. But I honor them more, I think, by living out the values
they taught me by their words and lives. I think they would be proud.

***********************************************

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

From a headstone in Ireland

Mel West

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