Thursday, February 24, 2005

Speaking of “Problem Solving” and how someone is helping service people

I saw an Army Colonel sitting at Borders tonight in his DCUs. I went over and thanked him with a hand shake. I thought I’d do that and be on my way, but providence would have it otherwise. I sat down and we began to share and here’s what I found out: He’s a 33 year vet and a National Guard Officer. He is not assigned to MacDill, as one might expect, but he’s stationed in Plant City, a town east of Tampa, but not as far as Orlando. He’s part of a program where they receive injured and sick service members from major military medical facilities. These service personnel are transferred here (or other places where the NG is, allows them to be near their families while they await their operations or other treatments. It seems the military active duty medical facilities are being stressed dramatically by the war, and this program, which I now realize I failed to ask if this was a Florida initiative, or a nationwide one. In any case, it is something someone dreamed up to help make the lives of sick and wounded service members more comfortable. They began by figuring they would take the orthopedic cases, but it has expanded to include people with things such as cancer and MS. While the troops are there, they assist them in getting care at local MTFs (Military Treatment Facilities), the VA, or with civilian doctors (via TRICARE). They give them jobs with the NG units, so they have something to keep themselves busy with. Sounds like a great idea to me, and I’m thankful that the innovation of someone is some office somewhere became more than a “wouldn’t it be great if…” conversation. This is one thing the military teaches people, to think ahead, to work through a problem and put a plan together to fix it…and in most cases, stick with it until the plan is actively functioning.

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