OK so the geese are gone in NE like in the photo, the sandhill cranes are gone now..... the lake is melted, the black cormorants have arrived diving for fishes and the daffodils are trying to come UP!
But in the middle of all of this ---- the crazy weather became confused this week and went back to WINTER.... Luckily it is not as cold as this photo taken in january/february and the lake is still thawed but the water table is up suddenly and our sump pump is starting with the snow! The greening of Nebraska and our world is getting closer.
Finally the quieting sounds outdoors are replacing the howling winds of the last two days and the steady gurgling of the sump pump every once in a while...... and the spring storm is past we hope. The forecast is for the seventies by next week but it is darn cold out there the last few days and like winter tonight again and frigid.
I even got out my winter gloves again today, my scarf and my yellow winter coat even though it is a sunny color for spring. So in NEBRASKA these days we are dreaming of spring days now and of those daffodils showing their yellow heads, tulips finding their way from green to colors and warmer, sunnier days again, drying out, and somehow the new pile of sand for our beach being mysteriously wheel barrowed to the lake and the sump pump stopping again.
Along with the surprise arrival of the snow, some new friends showed up in my life as surprises this week as well, I enjoyed visiting a local art club meeting with new and old friends, I joyously received my very own copy of RUBIN AND ED from a friend in the mail, emails and plans are being made for the upcoming events ...... and the thing on my mind the most with the snow is a HOPE for PEACE with the spring snow and passage of the NEW GI BILL we found about a week or two ago.
We can all hope and pray that this war will be over soon and the commanders will start to thaw like spring. Our dear daughter leaves next week to go to NC to say goodbye to her dear husband who is going off to IRAQ again for a second time now when he thought he would be taking classes for his degree now instead.
We are all sad about his going AGAIN and the many others leaving families behind again too ...... so we have tried to turn our sadness into ACTIONS lately as we have researched info on the new--- 21 st century GI BILL --- being proposed by Hagel and Webb both veterans I believe.
They are asking for co signers from both sides of the aisle in congress to join them to get this passed if we truly support the troops. We urge you to write your congressional leaders to urge them to support this important measure to bring the GI BILL into the 21st century --- as we have never sent so many reservists or national guard to a war and repeated times. This all makes you wonder if anyone is enlisting these days.
And it is puzzling --- like the winter storm --- why McCain is not supporting this bill to give veterans their well deserved benefits which we all assumed were in place...... It just seems like a no brainer to support an updated GI BILL ------ and one we would do with respect to the TROOPS since 9/11 for going into harm's way and risking themselves --- even when some of us did not want this war from the beginning.
Why McCain would not support this new important and just veteran legislation is as odd as the sudden snow turning our world to winter again. I would encourage you to write him and ask why he would not do this as a veteran himself!! Many were recruited thinking this was a certain benefit until they have found out otherwise with no way to get help in college through outdated GI BILL legislation.
Check on your statewide leaders to see if they are supporting it. If you can send even a short note or email advocating we would be GRATEFUL as this legislation would be welcomed by all the troops who were thinking they had such benefits. Currently in NE, Ben Nelson and A smith are not supporting it. I need to check on Rep Fortenberry and Hagel is a co sponsor....... thanks need to go to Senator Hagel and Senator Webb for bringing this to the forefront on behalf of many who have no recourse now when they find out by accident. Why else would they sign up? I doubt if recruiters said to them, "this will be an excellent way to finish your college but you will not get the GI Bill when you are done." How many of them would have signed up??
The only way now to get the current GI BILL as a reservist or national guard troop is to be active or by Re -enlisting and/or doing eight full years rather than six years and then two of ready reserves etc. You can only get your classes paid when you are active. But you cannot do that when you are being deployed as many of our troops are finding out. In our case my son in law will be serving 36 months out of six years actively plus Reserve weekends I am thinking.
We urge you to write your congressional leaders even if you have NEVER done this before. Do it on behalf of someone you know who will not get the GI BILL .... and a short note will do or email. Personal notes are always GREAT too. Just let them know that you support the new 21st century GI BILL sponsored by Hagel from NE and Webb from Virginia. Go to their websites to find out more info or google away to get more info..... it is out there.
We hope that the winter hearts of the leaders of our country can see their way to the spring of new birth and ending this war. We are advocating to fund full GI BILL benefits to Reservists and National Guard troops accordingly who have gone one or more times to the Middle East since 9/11. Let's give them what they deserve and what we all know is right in our hearts and minds, souls.
We thank Webb and Hagel for taking on the legislation and advocacy for these benefits --- that we all assumed were already there!! It was only recently we discovered that the GI bill in its outdated form does not allow for this and what a heartbreak when you find out and what can you do???? It is good to know there is a sign of hope on the horizon if folks will contact their leaders and get this more in the public discourse.
We are discovering this is truly a NO BRAINER as we have sent 600,000 national guard and RESERVE troops since 9/11 if you can believe it from my reading last week. Many of our troops signed up thinking they would be getting an education during and after their active service. And then at some point they discover this was a false promise for their service.
So thanks for allowing me to get up on my soapbox and encourage all citizens to speaking up for our troops and veterans in this NON PARTISAN justice legislation. Join with us and tell your friends and neighbors -- write letters, notes, emails today to help out all the troops. Contact www.votevets.com
for more info too or look up 21st century GI BILL.
We are hoping for a thaw in NE and for a thawing of the hearts of our national leaders and the commanders wanting this war to continue. We all know that those still going and returning are all traumatized along with their families, weary, overextended, missing their families, dreaming of classes and yearning to get back to the momentum for learning that is being postponed bu being deployed .........or multiple times....... and then to discover they not covered by the GI BILL and benefits which makes the pain even more difficult.
We urge your help in this matter of supporting ALL the troops .... by providing benefits for all troops including reservists and national guards serving since 9/11........ and ending this war so we can all have spring again in our lives ..... and realize this long winter or war is over!!
Peace to all and benefits to all veterans! Who would have ever thought I would be writing about all of this in an blog!! This journey has all become more PERSONAL the last few years in our family......... and it seems like a very small percentate of Americans who are having to sacrifice for this war over and over again......
Thanks for listening and let me know if you need more info~ and so we can all start to have happy springs again when the troops are all getting the 21st century GI BILL as they should be.
To not support this legislation is like living in a dark cloud of denial, not caring about our troops and veterans.......living in another time and a confusing surprise blizzard in the spring with no visibility and heavy snow ....... and the need to close down the interstate so folks cannot travel and realize dreams.