The 4th of July is coming next week and I want to be sure a lot of people see my blog this week so they can respond to my call for action. My blog today deals with some of our military veterans.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you the horrors of war take a toll on our men and women who proudly serve our country in battle. Some of our brave heros are plagued with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) once they’ve left the battleground.
Los Angeles-based filmmaker and philanthropist Charlie Annenberg Weingarten founded DogBlessYou.org, an internet campaign aimed at helping veterans get service dogs who help soldiers deal with their affliction. The specially-trained service dog listens and looks for any signs of distress and helps their owner cope with their particular symptoms of the condition.
What Weingarten has done is create a Facebook page called Dog Bless You. For every 5,000 ‘likes’ on the Facebook page, a service dog will be donated to a veteran in need.
Weingarten says he believes the campaign will help spread patriotism and give injured veterans a much-needed companion.
“It’s interesting because the way we deal with PTSD is strictly on a medical basis. But really what’s missing is love and belonging,” Weingarten said.
So, here’s my call for action:
I want you to go to the Dog Bless You Facebook page and ‘like’ the page. Let’s see if we can get our veterans a couple of new dogs in honor of their service to our country and in honor of our upcoming 4th of July holiday. It’s a win-win! Here’s the link:
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
Until next time,
It’s Monday morning and you’ve just dropped your child off in the day care facility at your place of employment. The day care facility is located in the center of the building where you work. Parents are free to visit their children on their lunch hour and are encouraged to have lunch with their child. You’ve made special peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to share with your child and you’re looking forward to your break at noon from the monotony of the ZYZZZ thinga-majig company.
When you get to your desk, the first thing you do (after coffee) is open your email. You’re surprised to see an urgent e-mail from your boss. Wondering what could be so urgent before your day has even begun you read that e-mail first. It’s a warning. The e-mail tells you the company has been sent a warning that one of your clients, or even one of your co-workers, is planning to go to the day care facility and murder all the children there. You can’t believe what you’re reading. You wonder why everyone is calmly going about their business making phone calls, creating spreadsheets and texting on their cell phones.
You race to your boss and ask him/her why aren’t people concerned? Why aren’t there precautions in place to check out people entering the day care facility? Your boss scoffs and says, “We’ve got good measures in place. We’ve got ‘old Joe’, the security guard at the entrance to the building. Everyone who comes into the building must show identification. If someone wants to go into the day care facility, they have to sign in on a piece of paper. You wonder if you’re losing your mind – ‘old Joe’, and showing identification that can be easily duplicated, and signing a piece of paper isn’t going to protect those children from someone intent on harming them.
You tell your boss that the police need to be called, that the building should be locked down and everyone should be searched for weapons. The boss tells you to relax. The likelihood of anything bad happening is slim, and besides, it would really upset the clients and your co-workers to go to such drastic lengths – it would be very disruptive to the business. You go around the building trying to garner support for taking action, and there are a few people who feel the way you do, but there are many people who don’t. Those people tell you the whole scenario is unlikely and it’s too much of an inconvenience to take protective measures. You don’t think so. Your child is everything to you. Your child is your life. You would do anything for your child…
Now, what if your child wasn’t confined in a day care facility, but boarding an airplane, would you feel any differently? Just what are you prepared to do to ensure your child’s safety? How about your own safety?
Over the last week I’ve watched criticisms mount regarding the pat down searches being conducted at airports. I’ve seen people saying, “I’m a soccer mom, not a terrorist,” or, “I’m an eighty year-old grandfather. What would I be hiding?” Okay, YOU may know you’re not a terrorist, but the folks whose job it is to see we’re safe in the skies don’t know you or what your intentions are.
I don’t understand it. It’s a fact terrorists have tried MULTIPLE TIMES to bring explosives on airplanes all over the world. Every time one of their plots is discovered they come up with a new strategy to try to get on a plane and kill people. Wake up America!
I’ll be the first to admit maybe I’m a little more jaded to the feelings of intrusion a pat down search might generate. In the police academy, while we were learning how to search people, we were ‘searched’ hundreds of times. I’ve conducted hundreds, if not thousands, of pat down searches. But the fact remains there are people in this world who would like nothing better than to bring down one or more airplanes on American soil. If having a stranger run their hands over my body outside of my clothes keeps me and my fellow passengers more safe, I’m all for it. I don’t necessarily like the fact it has to be done, but I understand it.
Frankly, I think it’s a huge disrespect to the people who lost their lives on 9-11 that so many Americans are objecting to safety measures put in place to save their lives. We need to learn from the losses we suffered on 9-11…and we have. That’s why these measures are in place.
Until next time,
Some time ago the Los Angeles Police Department started a program called iWatch. Its purpose is to provide a way for the citizens of Los Angeles to report suspicious activity that may be related to terrorist activities.
In light of the recent packages containing explosives being mailed from Yemen to the United States, it’s imperative that, as a nation, everyone be diligent about watching for, and reporting, possible terrorist related activities.
Here are some tips for you to keep in mind. While these suggestions were created for the iWatch program in L.A., they make perfect sense no matter where you live.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
We rely on our senses every day of our lives. If a behavior or activity makes you feel uncomfortable, report it. Here are a couple of examples of suspicious activities reported by citizens that saved lives:
If it doesn’t LOOK right, report it. A video store clerk SAW anti-America material on a DVD he was asked to copy. Police captured and arrested individuals planning a bomb attack.
If it doesn’t SMELL right, report it. A grandmother SMELLED bad odors from a neighboring apartment and noticed the empty apartment was frequented by various people. Police discovered a poison gas factory.
If it doesn’t SOUND right, report it. Residents were concerned with a person’s threats of violence. Police captured and arrested a group planning a subway attack.
IMPORTANT PLACES TO WATCH
You should be aware of your surroundings all the time, but here are some places to be especially vigilant. Government buildings, religious facilities, amusement parks, sports/entertainment venues, high-rise buildings, parades, fairs and other mass-gathering locations, schools, hotels, theaters, shopping malls, bridges, and public transportation.
WHAT SHOULD I REPORT
Give as many details as you can. Here are some of the things we’d like to know. The time of day, where it happened, what you witnessed. We’d also like a description of who was involved – male or female, how tall, build, hair color, skin color, and age. Was there a car? Provide a license plate number if you’re able to. Have you seen this activity in your neighborhood before?
HOW DO I REPORT?
You can file an online report at https://tips.fbi.gov/
Call 911 for an emergency
In Southern California:
You can file an online report at the Joint Regional Intelligence Center website at www.jric.org
Or you can call JRIC at (562) 345-1100
Call 911 for an emergency
In Los Angeles:
Report online at www.iWATCHLA.org
Call 1-877 – A –THREAT (1-877-284-7328)
Call 911 for an emergency
The prevention of terrorist activity is everyone’s business, so do your part because iWatch, and you need to watch too!
Until next time,