Veterans are not public property
December 26, 2013
VA hospital refuses to accept 'Merry Christmas' cards was the headline of a piece written by Todd Stames about Dallas VA hospital refusing to take Christmas cards from school children.
According to Stames, the VA said,'That's great. We're thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can't accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas' or ‘God bless you' or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.'" And that is true but he should have told Stames that the Chaplain could deliver them because he would know the "patient" well enough to be able to judge if the card would be helpful or not.
Any religious item, not matter how innocently it was sent, is not welcomed by everyone equally.
This is a huge issue for our veterans in the hospital. People want to let them know they care and that is a wonderful thing but assuming what they want to give is right is actually wrong. How many times have you wanted to do something for someone only to discover it was not what they needed from you? Just think of yesterday when you gave someone a gift and they took it back to the store today.
If you really want to do something for them, write letters to members of Congress to make sure they are taken care of. Donated to great charities like Fisher House so they can take care of family members near where their loved one is recovering. In 2012 they cared for 19,000 families. They operate 62 houses near hospitals. Since 1990 they have saved families $200 million dollars they would have spent on lodging. The list goes on.
You can donate to the Home Depot Foundation or help to repair a home for a veteran in need. Or give your money and time to Homes For Our Troops to make sure that disabled veterans have a home that is adapted/built for their wounds to make their lives better.
You can volunteer at a VA hospital to spend time with them. You can also do what is advised. If you want to send cards or letters, do it in a generic way so that they know you care about them.
These men and women are not our property and they are individuals. What we may want to do for them may not be what they need or want. It isn't up to us to decide for them.
I would love to take Veterans Bibles to all of them but all of them will not receive them the same way. It isn't up to me to decide who should or should not get one and I take no offense when I am told what I can and cannot do. It is much better to ask first.