Posts Tagged ‘vet’


Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Tom Moore, 99, a retired British army captain, walks to raise money for health workers in the pandemic. His initial goal was to walk the length of his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday April 30. He did it and is still going strong.

Public Radio International  (PRI) is a wonderful service. It covers stories from around the world with greater depth than most egocentric US outlets. Sometimes PRI’s stories take off, like this one, which you may have already heard from another news source.

It’s about 99-year-old World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore, who feels deep gratitude to the health-care workers who looked after him in previous illnesses and made up his mind to help them during a pandemic that puts them at risk.

From PRI on Instagram: “He did it! Today, 99-year-old World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore achieved the goal he set up for himself earlier this month: to walk the length of his back garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30.

“But Captain Moore didn’t walk just for recreation. He was also raising money for Britain’s national health service (NHS), now strained because of the coronavirus pandemic. He raised an astonishing 16 million GBP, or nearly $20 million — way above his initial fundraising goal of 1,000 GBP, or $1,200.

“Moore said he wanted to thank NHS workers for the care he received while recovering from skin cancer and a broken hip.

‘The patience and the kindness that I’ve got from all of them from top to bottom was absolutely amazing. So, anybody who is helping with me and the National Health Service, I’d be very pleased, because they’ve done so well for me and they’re doing so well for everybody else at the moment,’ Captain Moore said. ‘I think we must say “Well done, National Health Service.” ‘ “

Listen online to the PRI story, here. And do make PRI part of your ongoing routine. Yesterday alone it had a slew of intriguing topics, and its presentation of international music is as good as I’ve heard anywhere:

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Photograph: Julio Cortez/AP
Musician Julio Fernandez during a Voices of Valor music session at Montclair State University.

Today I am returning to the topic of veterans programs that help people overcome post-traumatic stress and reintegrate into civilian life. (Interesting how often these programs involve gardening or the arts — which we always knew were good for us!)

Samantha Henry at the Boston Globe has the story.

“During stressful times as a combat medic in Afghanistan, Mason Sullivan found solace in Vivaldi. New Jersey native Nairobi Cruz was comforted by country music, a genre she had never heard before joining the Army. For Jose Mercedes, it was an eclectic iPod mix that helped him cope with losing an arm during a tour of duty in Iraq.

“These three young veterans all say music played a crucial role in alleviating the stresses of active duty. Now, all three are enrolled in a program that hopes to use music to ease their reintegration into civilian life.

‘‘ ‘It’s a therapy session without the “sit down, lay down, and write notes,” ‘ Mercedes, 26, of Union City, said of the music program. ‘It’s different — it’s an alternative that’s way better.’

“The pilot program, called Voices of Valor, has veterans work as a group to synthesize their experiences into musical lyrics. Guided by musicians and a psychology mentor, they write and record a song, and then hold a CD release party. The program is currently underway at Montclair State University, where students participate through the school’s veteran affairs program.

“Developed by husband and wife team Brian Dallow and Rena Fruchter, it is open to veterans of any age and background. No musical experience is required.” More.

P.S. A word on the power of reddit. John posted my blog entry from yesterday in the Christmas category at reddit and it increased traffic to this site by a factor of 10 so far.

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