Cover vets' stories all year

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I was moved and proud to read all of the Veterans Day-themed articles Nov. 11. I truly appreciate the positive nature of the coverage, but long for continuing support from The Augusta Chronicle.

I am an active-duty physician stationed at Fort Gordon. I have worked at Eisenhower Army Medical Center for the past six years, during which I have been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom twice. As a veteran, the coverage The Chronicle gave Nov. 11 is well-received and very heart-warming. However, that needs to continue.

Right now, members of this community are deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other distant locales. Family members who remain home face trials and tribulations daily. The community needs frequent reminders of the sacrifices their neighbors are making. I often ask myself: What is the broad impact of some of the local stories in the paper? Both individual tragedies and triumphs are experienced in our community and at times receive wide coverage.

Yet, are there far-reaching consequences for those individual events? Similar events happen daily at Fort Gordon and beyond – occurrences to brave soldiers who are right now protecting the ideals of this nation. Bringing these stories to the forefront on a regular basis may help motivate our community throughout the year.

Organizations such as the Wounded Warrior
Project and the Fisher House need donations throughout the year. The Fisher House operates on donations only to give families of hospitalized soldiers a proximate place to stay while their family members recover. Locally we have two Fisher Houses to support military families.

As the community continues to read positive stories of their deployed soldier-citizens, I am hopeful they would consider supporting these local noble institutions. Certainly financial support would be beneficial, but the donation of time and talent also is welcome. Making a meal, providing a ride or giving time to volunteer is equally needed.

Each spring the Eisenhower Healthcare Auxiliary raises thousands of dollars to support the Fort Gordon Fisher House. Financial support of this endeavor has slightly waned over the past two years. I challenge the community to maintain their Veterans Day pride and give locally. Knowing that you can help folks in your community, people who make significant sacrifice in support of this country, is a message that should continue throughout the year.

Let’s continue to see positive stories in The Chronicle to motivate each of us to give to these fine local organizations.

Lt. Col. Kepler Davis

Evans

Comments (6) Add comment
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wildman
1195
Points
wildman 11/28/11 - 05:07 am
0
0
Thanks to you and those who

Thanks to you and those who serve and have served, this veteran appreciates your service to our great nation.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 11/28/11 - 06:36 am
0
0
This is a very timely and

This is a very timely and important letter. Thanks for reminding us of things that we should already know. Service men and women are on the job 365/24 not just on veterans day. Also, even though I made a contribution to help build the new Fisher House at the uptown VA I did not know that operational funds were needed. Believe me, folks, this is a very worthy cause and I recommend it to each and every one for consideration.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 11/28/11 - 07:47 am
0
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Delicate balance, but if

Delicate balance, but if there were real engaging stories and meaningful reporting more often it could mean alot based on how much of the local economy is tied to Ft Gordon. Beware the weekly fluff piece.

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 12/01/11 - 09:41 pm
0
0
Realize the Wounded Warrior

Realize the Wounded Warrior Project and the CSRA Wounded Warrior Project are two different organizations.

The CSRA WWP has one employee and took in over a half million dollars in 2010. That was up from $243,000 the year before. They have one employee, Laurie Ott, who paid herself $108,752 last year. This is the same Laurie Ott who now heads the University Hospital Foundation.

She lists her expenses as $55,513. There is no description of the expenses. Now get this. It's noted her oganization has accumulated $470,428. She held $243,000 over from 2009. Here is the link to the organization's tax form 990 for 2010.

http://www.augustawarriorproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/2010-990...

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 12/01/11 - 10:04 pm
0
0
Reminding someone of what she

Reminding someone of what she said a while ago about it not being decided if Laurie Ott was even going to be paid for this position, I guess we answered that question.

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 12/02/11 - 06:08 am
0
0
I encourage everyone to

I encourage everyone to scroll down the Form 990 of the CSRA Wounded Warrior Project and see exactly how that money is used. In round numbers, besides Ott's huge salary for her listed 40 hours of work per week, travel expenses were $2600, "consultation" $38000, a roundtable $11600, research consortium $1300 and office expenses $775.

Basically, this organization is sitting on a huge pile of money that keeps growing. It will be very interesting to see how it ends up being used. Maybe public exposure will ensure it gets to the wounded troops soon.

If you look at the accomplishments of the organization, listed are some vague items centering around "coordination." The wounded warriors were not given anything by the organization according to this report. It's interesting that existing programs of coordination between Ft. Gordon and the VA that are ran by them are mentioned.

Keep in mind, Ft. Gordon, the VA and the federal government already go to great measures together to coordinate care of the veterans on their own and cooperation with charities. Charities such as the Fisher House are rated very high by Charitywatch.org as far as getting money into concrete projects such as the two houses here in Augusta. One at Ft. Gordon and one at the uptown VA.

This CSRA Wounded Warrior Project has always been a concern of mine because I had an idea it was going to turn out to be exactly what's showing in the financial disclosure statements.

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