VETERANS CORNER: March 3 recognizes paid and unpaid care givers

by Gary Kennedy

March, named for the Roman God, Mars, must have been a very confused god as he allowed more than a 120 holidays to be celebrated in the month of March. I went through the list and came up with two favorites. The first was National Corn Beef Day. I am a big fan of corn beef and cabbage, with a few other vegetables thrown in and cooked for four hours, slowly. I guess it’s the Irish in me but I just can’t get enough of that great stuff. My mother was great with this dish. She added dumplings, which you have to have a taste for. They are great when they take on the flavors of all that is in the pot, corn beef cooked slowly will melt in your mouth. It becomes very tender, especially if you pick out a fatty one. I can see some of you going, “yuck”. You probably would prefer Vegan, not me.

Well, now that I am hungry, let me go on to the other holiday that I chose and that is Care Givers Day. When I think of this day it places a big smile on my face. Some of my greatest and best friends around the world are not thinking about world domination but the caring of others. Most of these people are humanitarians and do this work out of love and heart. Some also receive a stipend for giving this service.

In any case it takes a special person to perform in this capacity. Most caregivers come with some training which is usually given at some medical level. These folks are usually well versed in the care of those in need of a helping hand. Places such as our VA system give online classes which carry some detail at many different levels, as there are several levels and situations of need.

Unless these folks are lucky enough to come from a wealthy family or inherit a lot of money they will never be among the rich. However, wealth is not necessarily measured monetarily. You can’t buy happiness and that is what many of the Caregivers bring to the table. When you wake in the morning knowing you’ve helped another or about to do that, it’s a wonderful feeling. Our world is in such disarray it sometimes feels overwhelming but you know you must carry on and pray for the best. Caring for the ill, disabled and elderly requires tens of millions of these caregivers. Some of these wonderful people even give up their careers in order to fulfill this mission.

November is National Care Giver Appreciation Month. I personally like March 3 as it picks a particular day in which to recognize and appreciate both the paid and unpaid Care Givers. Some of us do this freely and even spend our own money. This can be a thankless job with even family members avoiding doing it. Also, there are organizations that give a stipend yet they don’t truly offer the support necessary to accomplish the labor of love before them. If you’re in it just for the money you are in it for the wrong reason, and are wasting your time and the well being of others, as you probably don’t know what you’re doing.

When it comes to our veterans I fight to the bitter end and try my best to expose the inadequacies of the system as well as the individual care. I try to get the word out to all our vets, especially those I work with. They most likely are in need of aid and attendance if they are asking for it. Its only common sense that if one of our soldiers reaches out, he or she is most likely in need. We have programs out there now for them that are relatively easy to get but are not properly run. You’ve heard me mention the “Peter Principle” in the past and that is where the buck stops. Those that get placed into positions they have no business being in are the ones that damage and can’t manage these much needed programs. When you ask a question relative to their mission statement and they answer, “I don’t know”, then you know you have just met someone who has succumbed to the Peter Principle.

If you are a moderate to severely damaged veteran, either physically or psychologically, then perhaps you are in need and qualify for a caregiver. The caregiver can be your wife or a significant other. Most likely they will qualify for a stipend of at least $1,600 per month, tax free and possible benefits. That person will receive some caregiver training via online. It’s well worth looking into. For veterans, call 623-8411-0 and ask for the Veterans Advocate and then the booklet on the eligibility for the Caregiver Program. Don’t let your veteran go it alone if he/she needs a little or a lot of help. It will be very beneficial for the veteran and rewarding for you, so there you have it.

This is my conversation over a great Corned Beef Dinner. You will respect this meal on St. Patrick’s Day. I will remind you. Take care my friends and God Bless America and those others who are suffering in the world. Also, pray for our brothers and sisters under siege. God only knows they need much more than our prayers. One more thing: since I write “Veterans Corner” I address the needs of veterans. However, the state and federal governments have programs as well which address non veterans. Stay safe and take “Care”.


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1 reply
  1. Ed Schurley
    Ed Schurley says:

    I happened onto your article while searching the website obituaries for actor and cowboy Brad Johnson, who passed from covid 19 on 2/18/2019. It shocked me as I am 66. I was an altar boy a at Catholic school and church in Bayonne, NJ in the 60’s, and was always physically abused. Later, mass reports of sex abuse caused me to lose my faith. His role in “Left Behind”restored some, but your article struck a me. if everyone was interested in world unification, instead of domination., none would get left behind., “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” (John Lennon). My perfect manifesto, and lifelong dream. Chances are, not in my lifetime, but anytime would be the worlds’ greatest achievement. Condolences to Brad’s family and friends. Your fantastic, enthusiastic and inspiring life and achievements served to ensuree you wre never meant to be Left Behind. With sympathy, Ed Schurley and family. Peace, love and blessings to all.


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