@TAPS4America: Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence. -Lin YutangI think that's my new favorite quote. And it reminded me that I wanted to tell you about Paul McCollom. Or rather, to let Paul tell you about himself. To tell you why he and many, many others are walking/running/striving to make one particular road come into existence: the road to recovery for wounded warriors and their families.
As he says: "I will be 61 this year but on October 25th I will be in Washington DC again running (mostly) 26.2 miles in the Marine Corps Marathon for Fisher House and military families. I am driven by the young men and women serving today; they are my brothers and sisters and my sons and daughters and I have an obligation to support them as long as I can put one foot in front of the other."I supported Paul last year in his quest, and blogged about it in this post: Paychecks and Great Battles. I'm doing it again this year. He's the real deal.
Here's more about Paul and Fisher Houses:
I’m a Vietnam Vet, Army Medic, 1969-'70. My daughter is a Naval Academy Grad and US Marine Captain who has deployed to Iraq twice and her husband, also a Marine Captain, has deployed 4 times. She returned safely from her last deployment and she and her husband are serving at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia and should not be deployable until 2011.
Because our wounded are rarely treated at a facility near their home, a Fisher House provides a sanctuary where they can have their family with them during treatment. Along with other military families in similar circumstances, they stay free of charge to provide support and encouragement to each other. Here are just a couple of examples of how important Fisher Houses have been for families:
· The Mother of a badly wounded Marine could not afford a hotel so she slept in the back of her car in the hospital parking lot until someone found out and sent her to the local Fisher House.
· The family of a badly burned soldier was able to be with their son through much of his treatment and the many surgeries that took place. Not only did they stay at Fisher Houses but the Fisher Foundation paid for the airfare that they could not afford.
· A Marine Reservist who participated in the invasion of Iraq watched a year later as his Marine son deployed and was wounded in the Battle of Fallujah. For the next six months he and his wife literally passed each other in the air as one flew to the Naval Hospital in San Diego as the other was returning home to Michigan.
43 Fisher Houses have now been constructed across the country and more than 120,000 families have been guests, saving them more than $120 million in housing expenses. Currently Fisher Houses can care for about 12,000 families a year but the need continues to grow and 7 more houses are under construction with 11 more under planning for 2010 and beyond.
I know things are tough this year but if you are able to make a donation please go to this site: http://www.active.com/donate/FisherHouse2009MCM/McCollom