Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remember Father Tim when you vote

I have previously written about a priest from Minnesota who was injured in Iraq; initially when CBS ran a story and subsequently when Congress was considering cutting funding for veteran’s treatment.
The Star-Tribune has an update on Father Tim.

Just three weeks ago, one of his doctors said she thought he'd never speak again. The hospital was preparing to cut off his speech therapy because they had seen no progress.
And then he spoke.
On Oct. 26, Phyllis Vakoc of Plymouth got a phone call from her son's hospital room.
"Hi, Mom," he said, and she froze. It had been two and a half years since her son had suffered a devastating head injury in Iraq. Two and a half years since he had spoken. "I thought I was hearing things," she said last week. "I thought I'd never hear that voice again."
The Rev. H. Timothy Vakoc, a Catholic priest, was so seriously wounded that doctors at first thought he wouldn't survive. But in recent days, he has started to speak, to the astonished delight of family, friends and caretakers.

Here's the rest of the story :

Treatment and care of our soldiers is the nation's duty. Funding is a battle. According to the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army, 64 percent of soldiers recently wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom have sustained "blast injury," which is the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries for active duty military personnel in war zones.

As we go to the polls on Tuesday, the Disabled American Veterans have issued their ratings on Congressmen in our area :
20 % - Gil Gutknecht
0 % - John Kline
20 % - Mark Kennedy
And for reference, although they are not on the ballot Tuesday, Norm Coleman received a 50 % rating and Mark Dayton a 92 %.
Also, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) issued the following ratings :
C+ Gil Gutknecht
C John Kline
C+ Mark Kennedy
D Norm Coleman
A- Mark Dayton

I know that Gil Gutknecht is proud of his 2001 Charles Dick Award of Merit from the National Guard, but that was five years ago. The soldiers, and their families, need help today and tomorrow. Let's elect leaders that will not go wobbly when it's truly time to support the troops and their families.

Ratings :

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As the Rochester Post Bulletin reports, that award isn't from the National Guard, like Gutknecht says, but from the National Guard Association, a private nonpartisan group. Nor is it the higest honor the NGA gives to elected officials.

See Bluestem Prairie for details.

Ollie Ox.