Tag Archives: Counseling

Thank A Veteran

by Richard

Today, in America, we celebrate Veteran’s Day. This is the day we set aside to honor those of our fellow countrymen and women who have served time as part of our armed forces.

What with the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as well as in various hotspots around the globe, we’ve owe more than ever to those past and present members of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard.

While we’re celebrating all of those who served today, I’d like to set aside a couple of minutes to talk about those who gave even more. Thanks to advances in battlefield medical technology, we’re seeing more soldiers returning alive but seriously wounded from service abroad.

Which gives us the opportunity to help them. Just quickly google assistance and veteran and you’ll find plenty of organizations dedicated to helping our troops. I’d like to highlight a couple here to which you might want to donate.

Fisher House is an organization dedicated to providing “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides a number of services to the returning wounded and their families, including benefits counseling, caregiver retreats, family support and peer mentoring.

The USO is a nonprofit, congressionally chartered private organization that provides innumerable services to our troops, either on active duty or on leave. In addition to the well-known entertainments the organization puts on overseas, the USO does things as simple and powerful as welcoming home troops who arrive in airports all over the country, something my father-in-law (himself a veteran of the Marines) does almost every week.

Take some time and provide some support, dudes. If you can’t get out and do the work yourself, you can easily donate some money to help out these and other worthy organizations.

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How Many Is Too Many?

Recently, a woman in Southern California gave birth to octuplets, this when she already had six other kids at home with her. Reports are that Nadya Suleman, 33,went to a fertility clinic for each and every birth.

In various newspaper reports, I’ve read that Suleman had asked for more than million dollars to appear on various talk shows. She didn’t get it. And this was before the news broke that she wasn’t the mother of eight, but the mother of 14. Now it seems as if she’s not getting any of the other benefits traditionaly associated with such astoundingly large births.

“Women who give birth to six, seven or eight babies are often showered with dazzling gifts from big corporations, local businesses and strangers. But that is not happening with the Southern California mother who delivered octuplets last week.

The news that she is a single mother with six other children — and that all 14 were conceived by having embryos implanted — seems to have turned off many people, and companies are not exactly rushing to get publicity by piling on the freebies.”

Personally, I’m a little bit appalled. Not so much at the mother, although I do think she might need a little counseling and pretty darn toot sweet, but mostly at the fertility clinic and fertility doctor that performed the implantation of eight fertilized eggs into this woman. That doctor and that clinic had to know the situation with Suleman, in that she had no regular means of support other than her slightly less than middle class parents, and that she already had six kids in the house.

I mean, seriously, unless she has some kind of super-mothering power which has remained hidden until now, things could get really ugly really quickly in that house.

Okay, this next bit is probably a little stupid, but I’m going to do it anyway. I am married to a wonderful woman. We are relatively well off. We have three kids. And I think that’s about the limit of what we could do. We want out little dudes to have experiences we never had, opportunities we never even saw. How is that going to happen in a home with borderline poverty and 14 kids? I really worry about those kids.

Speaking of financial calamities, here’s another couple of fun facts:

“For a single mother, the cost of raising 14 children through age 17 ranges from $1.3 million to $2.7 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Suleman octuplets’ medical costs have not been disclosed, but the average cost for just one cesarean birth in 2006 was $22,762 in California. The Suleman babies were born nine weeks premature. In California, a single premature birth in 2006 led to an average hospital stay of 25 days and cost $164,273. That would amount to a $1.3 million bill for eight.”

Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.

While I can’t say I know for sure what should be done here, if anything can, I do know there should be some very hard, very serious looks at the fertility clinic and fertility doctor in charge of starting up this whole mess.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. We’ll be back tomorrow with something that’s actually funny.

— Richard

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