Mineral Wells Index
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Veterans & ALS
The press has done a very good job of reporting about the challenges our veterans face. We all have read or seen stories about our wounded warriors. About traumatic brain injury. About veterans suffering from depression and other serious mental health issues. About those who have lost limbs or endure other physical hardships. These are serious issues that deserve our attention, especially on Veterans Day.
What also deserves our attention, but which gets much less press, is the fact that military veterans are twice as likely to develop - and die from - Lou Gehrig’s Disease as those who have not served in the military. Yes, studies show that the disease that took the life of baseball legend Lou Gehrig is striking our military heroes at an alarming rate. It doesn’t matter when or where they served in the military – home or abroad, peace or war, from World War I to Afghanistan. Those who served are at greater risk.
ALS is horrific. Worse than your worst nightmare. It robs people of the ability to move, trapping them inside a body they no longer can control. People describe it as being buried alive. There is no treatment. No cure. Only death in an average of two to five years.
So as the press calls attention to our military heroes on Veterans Day, I hope they remember those heroes who are fighting for their lives against ALS. I encourage your readers to visit the Veterans Wall of Honor at www.alsa-texas.org. There they will see the faces and read the stories of the military heroes who are fighting ALS and those who have been lost to the disease. Their stories of courage are worth your attention this Veterans Day.
David Chayer, Executive Director ALS Association
Angel Tree Time
As we begin the Christmas Season, the most joyous holiday of the year, we would like to invite you to look around and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Everywhere you look people are rejoicing, rejoicing that we live in a community like Mineral Wells where we all work together for the common good. One of the sad facts, however, is that not all of our children will have gifts under the Christmas tree. We are working to alleviate some of that poverty in our midst.
Tommy’s Angel Tree was begun several years ago by Mineral Wells volunteer firefighter and Mineral Wells Police Sgt. Tommy Parker. Tommy would purchase gifts for needy children and deliver them. Tommy was killed 20 years ago fighting a house fire in Mineral Wells. His memory lives on, however, in the eyes of each child who wakes up Christmas morning to find gifts under the tree thanks to the generosity of the citizens of Mineral Wells who support Tommy’s Angel Tree.
Angel Tree is a Mineral Wells project. It is not a fire department project. It is community involvement that makes this program a success. You can help in one of several ways. You can pick an Angel off of the trees located at Brazos Factory Outlet, Walgreens, WalMart, First State Bank, Bealls Dept. Store, Citi Bank, Titan Bank, Pizza Hut, or Pastafina. Shop for that angel and take those gifts to the Mineral Wells Fire Department at 212 S. Oak. Gifts must be turned in by Dec. 16 so that they can be wrapped and delivered on Dec. 21. We invite you to be at the Steve Perdue Training Center (the old Goodyear building) at 300 S. Oak at 8 a.m. on Dec. 21 to participate in the joy of delivering the gifts.
The unfortunate fact is that some Angels will not be selected from the trees. You may wish to make a donation so that the angels who are not selected from the trees will still receive gifts. Monetary donations may be sent to Tommy’s Angel Tree, P.O. Box 832, Mineral Wells, TX 76068.
Mineral Wells is a caring community. We evidence that by the tremendous outpouring of love that occurs each and every time there is a worthy project. Angel tree is another of the many worthwhile projects that the citizens of Mineral Wells so graciously support with their time, talents and donations. We know that we can count on you.
The Angel Tree Guardians