In honor of service

Broncos fans, this is Memorial Day week. There is a very good article in the National Football Post that you might want to check out, dealing with the great service that some of our NFL players have given. I'd like to add something that came up for me due to the NBA playoff this week.

Inevitably, the NBA playoffs will sooner or later bring a discussion of great players from the past. One of the wonderful and true stories involves Michael Jordan. In one game, his ability to make baskets pushed the level of absurdity. As a joke, and with the game nearly out of reach anyway, Jordan went to the free throw line after a foul, closed his eyes and hoisted the ball. It went in anyway. Recalling the play later, one pundit used the phrase, ‘sight without eyes'.

As some of you know, one of my own personal miracles was being blind for over 15 years and having had my sight restored through one brilliant doctor's experimental surgeries: three of them. During the time that I was blind, I was aided, guided and cared for by two wonderful and irreplaceable service dogs. They brought me comfort and courage when my life was literally at its darkest and they taught me the real meaning of the words ‘service' and ‘love'. Words falter in expressing what their gifts meant to me during that difficult time.

In my case, I was fortunate to have a patient who ran a service dog foundation: She shared her knowledge and skills with me and as a result I was able to afford to have my beautiful friends. Not all are that fortunate, but that can change. It's estimated that we will require 600,000 new service dogs in the next two years alone, many of them for servicemen.  The need is great, and the supply limited. I wanted to share some things with you.

The first link I'll bring you is called Paws for Patriots. You may be surprised by this, but our armed services will not provide guide dogs for soldiers blinded in the line of duty. Spend a little time on the website, learning to see things from a very different point of view. You won't regret the time it will take.

There is also a woman who is bringing that same gift to our American servicemen and women who have lost limbs or suffered debilitating head traumas. I'm offering to you this link. You might just enjoy seeing what is being done to help those who have given so much to our country. Whatever the outcome, I would ask you to look at your own life and to be thankful for the gifts that you are living and remember the cost to those who have defended it.

On that note, thank you for sharing this with me, and thank you for your willingness to both contribute to the growth of MHR and to read my own musings and meanderings. Enjoy your health, our freedom and the great gift of our ability to watch and follow these games and the efforts that our players make, striving to make them the best contests possible. And remember, for a moment, the men and women who are fighting to keep that possible, and those who have given of themselves to keep it so.

Originally posted at MHR

Learn to laugh at yourself. You will be ceaselessly amused. - Sri Gary Olsen

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