Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DO YOUR JOB (from a 95 year old)

Do Your Job

President Barack Obama
Rep. F. Allen Boyd
Sen. Bill Nelson
Sen. George LeMieux

November 20, 2009

Dear President Obama,
My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.
I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.
One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.
So here goes.
I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.
I can't figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:
" We're no longer a Christian nation"
" America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world,"America is mean-spirited. " Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)
I'd say shame on the both of you but I don't think you like America nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.
After 9/11 you said," America hasn't lived up to her ideals."
Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British ? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War ? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers,husbands,and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around because we stand for freedom.
I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.
Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man. Shape up and start acting like an American.If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue .You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.
And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts who was putting up a fight ? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.
One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.
You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president. You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now. And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.
Harold B. Estes

McAlpin , FL

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why Give Blood? (for both military and civilians)

You Could Save A Life Like Mine

By Ens Kamalan Selvarajah (With Lt Steven Brewster)

Ens Kamalan Selvarajah proudly donates blood to the Armed Services Blood Program.

I was first introduced to blood donation when I trained as a medical laboratory technician (MLT) in 1996. It’s not that I was unaware of blood donation before then but my training as an MLT gave me a much better understanding of how blood products are used and the need to donate. One whole blood donation is separated into five components and can affect up to five individuals!

So, during my clinical rotation in a blood bank at Naval Hospital Great Lakes in 1997 at the age of 20, I learned how to do the actual “stick” to start the collection process. This “stick” is a bit different from regular veni-puncture since there is a very specific, methodical, and step-by-step site preparation process and a slightly larger gauge needle. I was intrigued by the process as well as the purpose and wanted to donate. So, after performing collections on volunteers during the blood drive, I too volunteered and became a blood donor for the first time!

At the same time this was happening, we began to implement new software called the Defense Blood Standardization System (DBSS). Being a technophile, I learned the system quickly. Like anything in the military, when you’re good at something you get utilized even more. So, the following year I did a no-cost duty swap to Naval Hospital Jacksonville, FL and based on my knowledge of the new system, was assigned to the blood bank. I continued to participate in blood drives, both as a collector and a donor.

I transferred to Okinawa in 2000 and once again, was assigned to the blood bank (blood transfusion services to be exact). I participated in some collection there but they had a separate crew that conducted the blood drives who did all the work (they served the entire Pacific region!). I continued to donate but I also continued to learn more and more about the many different uses for blood and blood products. Naval Hospital Okinawa has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that sees a lot of business. Before my Okinawa experience, I did not know how much blood, platelets, and other blood products were used in saving premature babies. One of the most amazing procedures I witnessed was Extra-corporeal Membrane Oxygenation. A dedicated Air Force team traveled from Texas (Wilford Hall here in San Antonio) to Okinawa to perform the procedure which required multiple units of red blood cells (RBCs), platelets, and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) which we supplied. We also used countless units of blood and blood products to save the lives of individuals injured in various ways.

Up to this point, I had only donated whole blood. I had heard about aphaeresis, a process by which blood is separated during the collection, but didn’t try it while in Okinawa. As president of the Junior Enlisted Association and Leading Petty Officer of transfusion services, I had a platform from which I could help promote blood donation. We had a very active junior enlisted population who did a lot of volunteer activity to include blood drives. I worked with Mrs. Leavitt to promote blood donation at every opportunity and that is how we arrived at the idea that I would reenlist while donating blood. My reenlistment was a requirement of my selection to the Seaman to Admiral-21 Program.

I reported to NROTC University of Florida in the summer of 2004. A blood drive was held at the start of the fall semester to foster some friendly competition between the services and also promote a good cause. I joined the midshipmen in soundly defeating Army and Air Force ROTC for the number of donors. After that donation, a friend asked me if I had considered aphaeresis platelet donation. I was intrigued since I had seen so much need for platelets in Okinawa and knew that platelets are harder to come by and have a very short shelf life. Platelets are usually “pooled” for use by adult patients so the product comes from several donors. This can pose a problem for the immune-compromised. They are better off getting the product that has been collected from one patient via aphaeresis. And this began a monthly routine of aphaeresis platelet donation which I continued from 2004 through August 2007.

September 15, 2007…why is this date important…well, I sat first row, north end zone, and watched my Florida Gators beat Tennessee 59-20! And later that evening, I became a blood recipient. I have no recollection of the accident that was caused by a drunk driver. I woke up in the hospital with my entire family around me and they filled me in on what happened. I lost about three units of blood and had been transfused with at least two units of RBCs.

A few months into my recovery, I inquired as to the rules regarding donating blood again. This is when I was told I could donate again after one year had passed from the date of my transfusion. When I donated in the past, I did it simply because I believed it was the right thing to do, if you could do it. Only a very small percentage of the population that is eligible to donate actually does so. Now that I had become a recipient, it only intensified my desire to donate again. I am more than happy to tell anyone who will listen about the need to donate blood. I donated at the first opportunity after regulations allowed me to do so in September 2008.

I continued to donate in Gainesville and have donated twice since arriving at Fort Sam Houston. As the second anniversary of my accident has now arrived, I looked forward to once again “beating the drum” to call attention to the need for blood donation.

YOU could save a life like mine!

Saturday, November 7, 2009