Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11, 2016

Remembering our Veterans
November 11, 2016

My dad on leave while in the service,
 treasuring time with his infant son, my brother.

There are so many men and women who have served our country through the military over the years.  Since we no longer have the draft, most of today's service people are serving out of an internal calling to duty or following in the footsteps of the men in their families.  Some serve to provide for their families; some serve as an alternative to punishment for crimes they have done; and I am sure there are almost as many variations on these and other reasons as there are those who are enlisted.  Whatever brought them to the service, they all start out learning to obey, increasing their physical and mental strength, and learning routines. 

In today's society, many young people are not being taught these things in their homes.  They may be sitting around on the couch playing video games, or "hanging out" at the mall.  What ever they are doing before joining the military, they become as brothers and sisters to those that they serve beside. 
Their lives depend on being able to trust that their buddies will be there for them in times of war. 

Sometimes people will discuss the silly question, "If you had to be one of the following, would you rather be deaf or blind?"  As a deaf person, my answer would be that I would rather be deaf than blind.  Deaf people can still carry on a fairly normal life without hearing.  Yes, there are many things that are much harder when you can't hear, but as a blind person, it is almost impossible to function outside your home without the help of others.

At my age (70) many of our male friends served during the Vietnam war.  Many who served during that time as well as during other wars, have hearing loss from the battles they fought, the guns of all shapes and sizes are noisy.  One friend just got two strong hearing aids which are helping a lot.  I have come to think Veteran's benefits should include hearing aids.  Today, better hearing protection is available, but not always practical. 

There are so many reasons for hearing loss.  Loud noises rank up there at the top.  Many in my generation suffer hearing problems from loud music as rock music grew in popularity during their young adult years.  The current generation will probably also suffer in years to come from the damage done by loud music at concerts and movies.

Another reason for hearing loss can be illness.  Several childhood illnesses can cause hearing loss and babies born very prematurely can also suffer from damage to their hearing.  If a mother has German measles during pregnancy, that can cause deafness to the unborn child.  When my children were young, if they had an ear ache and the doctor treated them for it, he insisted that I bring the child back in one week so he could be sure the infection had healed.  He did not charge for that recheck because he was so convinced that everything possible be done to protect and save a child's hearing.  More doctors need to do that!

Let me suggest that you do all you can to protect your own hearing and the hearing of the children in your life. 

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