Friday, September 12, 2008

I Pledge Allegiance

After discussion with some trusted advisors I have decided to fill in all y'all about my new job. Some of you are already priy to the details but really, this is a story that needs to be told to everyone.

My initial reluctance owed to the fact that there's a .gov behind my work email address. It's not that blogging is strictly forbidden by federal employes but, well, being circumspect seems a wise course.

But as my job is associated with such a superfantastic mission, I can't not tell you about it. Not to mention that if you've never heard about this program, you should.

There's an organization called The Fisher House, created by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher. These fine and fabulously wealthy people had a passion for serving our veterans. The foundation has a lot of cool programs but the main focus is building homes on DOD and VA campuses which serve as a home away from home for the families of vets in hospital. While their loved one is being treated the family can stay-at no cost- in a beautiful home environment nearby.

The Fishers build beautiful houses, appointed with great beauty and comfort, then basically gift the house to the hospital to manage. The expense of operations and upkeep are funded by private donations. The 40th such house was just dedicated at the VA here in Seattle and I'm working as the "Program Support Assistant", which basically means I do whatever MAB needs me to do).

Now, as you know, I've never been a big fan of war but I always believed that if we are going to ask people to sacrifice for their country we have a boundless obligation to care for those who serve. And as much as I worry that we can also do more for our vets, I know that we all too easily forget the other heroes: the families that give their loved ones to us. These families also serve. They wait with their hearts in their mouths, tour after tour, praying that they don't get that phone call. When they do it is bad enough. If they live far away from where their loved one is being treated it is even worse. Fisher Houses step into that breach. A wife or parent or child may spend all day at the hospital but at night they can go "home". They can have a touch of normalcy - cook, a meal, read a book, watch "Project Runway". They can build community with others in the house, people who completely understand all they are going through. In peace and comfort they can recharge their batteries, enabling them to turn around the next day and engage in the process of aiding the healing of their loved one.

I am beyond proud that every day I can go too work and be a part of all that. The fact that I work in a beautiful place with the best boss in all the land? Trust me when I say, that's all gravy.

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23 Comments:

Blogger Monica opined...

i am so happy for you...even though your new responsibilities keep you off of my internets more than i am comfy with ;)

September 12, 2008 8:33 AM  
Blogger Eric opined...

We as civilians should also remember that as much as the members of the service and thier families do their duty for the country, it is also our duty to remind the vets in our lives that the VA is there to serve them and if they need it to take advantage of the service.
As the neighbor once told me, if a Vet from our current theaters of action comes in asking for help, the standing order is to immediatly drop everything and attend to the vet. I am not sure exactly why but that always brings a tear to my eye.

September 12, 2008 8:34 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Mon, for real. I'm jonesing.

You're a real patriot, honey bunny.

September 12, 2008 10:09 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

What a great gig. I am happy for you. What a great program to be a part of.

September 12, 2008 10:32 AM  
Blogger Sling opined...

You.Are.My.Hero!
Dont'cha just wake up every morning all giggly 'n stuff! :)

Eric reminded me of my own experience.
Having been turned away from the nearby hospital for lack of insurance,(I was into the 18th hour of trying to pass a kidney stone,..thankyouverymuch),I drove about 30 miles to the closest VA hospital.
They took one look at me,and I was literally in a wheelchair and on my way into the exam room within about 5 seconds!.We dealt with the paperwork after I had been attended to,and was sent home..No charge.

September 12, 2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Willym opined...

Congratulations - the history of war has shown that too often the men who fought are fĂȘted when they first return - ticker tape and bands and then they and their families are forgotten. What the Fishers are doing is a wonderful thing. And I can't think of anyone better to help them with their mission. I got a bit of chest swell with pride there knowning that someone I know is involved.

September 12, 2008 11:46 AM  
Blogger LostInCO opined...

That is too awesome! wow...

September 12, 2008 2:22 PM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

What a great way to start your work day. Loving a job is the best....really. Then there is a great boss AND a paycheck!!!

September 12, 2008 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba ha ha Ha (Note no W)

My home church is right across the street from the VA. One of our missions was to allow a fairly large portion of our parking lot to be used by motor homes, campers and trailers for outpatiens and their families. It was not at all unusual to have 5 or 6 at any given time. The Seattle VA is one of the largest in the region with vets coming from Idaho and Montana. We did this for several decades until just a few years ago the neighbors complained about zoning violations and we were forced to stop.

Thanks for helping to pick up that slack. Where one door is closed another opens.

Peace

:+}

September 12, 2008 5:44 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sage, one of the best ever. Thanks.

Back atcha, Sling. But you knew that. And yeah, I do wake up every morning all giggly and stuff. I seriously frakking Love. My. Job.

Ahhh, Willym, you sweetheart.

Pretty frakkin' awesome, Lost.

Right, Ro? If you gotta go to work, how great to love your gig. And I truly, truly do.

Anonyba, trust...it is an honor to be able to help in even the smallest way. And thanks to you and yours for what you did. That's pretty awesome, too.

September 12, 2008 7:14 PM  
Blogger Maine Gay opined...

I'm really happy for you - and proud of you. That is a great job, and great work to be doing.

Congrats!

September 13, 2008 6:54 AM  
Blogger Iwanski opined...

I think you're in the CIA, and this is just an elaborate cover.

You'll never admit it though.

September 13, 2008 7:49 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Thanks a lot, MG.

Who do you think you are, Iwanski? Scooter Libby? Go Cubs.

September 13, 2008 8:24 AM  
Blogger Leah opined...

Lorraine, your job sounds very important,fulfilling and perfect. I'm so happy for you!!! Although I secretly agree with Iwanski...

The song (& the boss) gives me goosbumps each time...
I just decided that I'm going to start JUKEBOX FRIDAY on my blog too.you've inspired me. :)

September 13, 2008 9:40 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

What a wonderful job. That has gotta make the days extra worth of a Rise N' Shine.

September 14, 2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Isn't it great working for an organization that actually does good things? :)

I work for such a place, as well.

Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me there. :)

September 14, 2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Bad Alice opined...

What a great job! The Fisher Houses remind me of Ronald McDonald houses, which we've stayed in at times when Firecracker was in the hospital. What a wonderful thing to make available to families of vets.

September 14, 2008 1:07 PM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

A very good freind of mine came back from a tour in a wheel chair having to take care of her two kids. Help was hard to find and the VA at times was not as helpful as they could have been. But thankst to some good non profit orgs -- and some people who cared, she is now walking!

Thank you Lorraine

September 14, 2008 5:02 PM  
Blogger Pamelamama opined...

weep!

So Proud Of You!

September 15, 2008 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Mary from Maryland opined...

Lorraine!

That Fisher House is really lucky because it has a great team of people who will not only care about everyone who walks in that front door, but more importantly, because you and MAB can snap just about anybody out of dark times. I've had a lot of experience in the last few years with just how tough life can be for a Fisher House resident, and I gotta tell you: humor can be more important than oxygen. And you ladies have that in spades. We're lucky to have you.

PS, I spoke to a certain construction director today. Imagine the phrase "room to groove" with that delicious Mafioso accent....

September 16, 2008 8:25 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

MFM, thanks for the delightful image...MAB and I decided that you're just going to be a friend for always.

Muuuah!

September 17, 2008 8:19 AM  
Blogger Suzanne opined...

Cool! What a great organization and so great you are working there!

September 17, 2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger D.A. opined...

Oh, okay, that was convenient: I get to find out about your job right after reading about The Child's coolness. Now I feel fully up to date.

The job sounds wonderful, by the day. Congrats on getting it.

But please make sure your boss stays on your side of the Atlantic, because if she hopped over to my side, she'd have to battle MY boss for the title of best boss in the land... and your boss would SO lose, 'cause my boss is the Divine L!

Now I shall keep scrolling down to read some more...

September 18, 2008 5:11 AM  

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