Monday, January 29, 2007
How to help ... veterans
The following organizations are featured on tonight's program on a new rehabilitation facility for injured veterans in San Antonio, Texas:
Posted By CNN: 9:21 PM ET
Thanks for the links. I feel our troops and their families are the people who deserve our undivided attention, our undivided respect and our undivided help. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 10:00 PM ET
As a country, I think we should exempt our military personnel from paying taxes. Even if some would disagree, I think everyone would welcome this type of legislation for our wounded vets. They, above everyone, have paid their dues to our country.
Posted By Anonymous John, New York City NY : 10:30 PM ET
Great show toninght! I sure do hope a lot more people become inspired to help those soldiers in need.
Posted By Anonymous Sofia Santos, San Antonio, TX : 10:47 PM ET
Please give our thanks to the hard working men and women who spent countless hours designing and building the Center for the Intrepid. Their committment and dedication to the project was integral to its timely completion.
Posted By Anonymous Brian - Washington, DC : 10:48 PM ET
I commend the Fisher family and the foundation on their efforts. However, i'm still looking for the answer to the question as to why our goverment can send our best and brightest into harms way, but when they return from war, we cannot rehabilitate and accomodate them with the best possible facility. It appears that those service people have to rely on private funds for those facilities.
What a sad example we are setting as a government.
Posted By Anonymous lori, jackson, wy : 10:58 PM ET
Dear Mr. Cooper and 360:

Thank you for doing this story and providing these links. As someone who has taught people with severe disabilities caused by genetics or accidents, it really hurts me to see so many people wounded by violence (and even more so because I don't think we should have started into this war in the first place; I can't help but imagine how many American and Iraqi lives have been forever altered by something that never should have been).

I am pasting some ideas I shared a few weeks back. If sitcoms can do repeats, why not info that might be of assistance? This was written in response to someone who wanted to know what we could do to help support families of the fallen or wounded:

* First, give them space, but let them know that you want to help when and if they need it. Ask them what they want, and think about ideas that relate to the interests of those who died or their families (for example, if sports and kids were important to someone, consider hosting a sports' night for local kids)

* Write into the local and national media you watch/read and ask them to cover the war more, and to cover the stories behind the statistics. If you knew the person who was killed or wounded, ask the family if it would be okay if you contacted the local media about doing a story about him/her (and find out if you or another friend could write something in a reader-written section).

* I love the woman who got together with others to send care packages to other troops after her kid was killed

* If you believe in prayer, it might not be a bad idea... This is something you can do even if you don't know the family well (I know I say a prayer every time I see a fallen or wounded soldier on TV).

* Buy an archival-quality diary or scrapbook and have friends and family write some memories of the person who was killed. If he/she had kids, you can consider having people create one for each kid, so it can be given to them when they get older. People can write memories of the person who died as well as special memories they witnessed or the fallen soldier told them about the children. You could probably do somthing similar with a video camera, if you prefer.

* Raise money to help them out financially. As I have unfortunately found out with my students who had to bury their boys way too young due to gun violence, funeral costs are unbelievable, and there are other tangential costs that you wouldn't imagine. You could also raise money to help out a charity that is important to the family or one that helps wounded soldiers (like Fisher House) and/or the families of fallen soldiers.

* Let your friend know that it is okay to talk about if they want, and equally okay to not talk about it if they want. So many people going through a loss want to remember the person who died, and should know that it perfectly valid to be filled with pain and love years later at a certain anniversary or for no particular reason (it could be something as simple as seeing their loved one's favorite cereal in the grocery store). And, often, the rest of us feel awkward bringing the name of the person who died up, when (usually, at least), families want to talk about and remember them, especially if it is a happy memory or one that shows how the person who died touched others.

* Don't be pushy about it, but let your friends know you are happy to help out with cleaning, babysitting, cooking, etc. so people can have some time to themselves.

* Be creative. If you have a special talent, offer of that. If you quilt, you can make a special quilt in honor of the person who died (perhaps with squares representing major milestones). If you cook, you can make a favorite meal. Etc.

Pray for peace.

P.S. I am sure I am one of many who love seeing stories like this-stories about people making a difference. Are you going to resurrect the "Giving 360" segments?
Posted By Anonymous Norah, West Chester, PA : 11:00 PM ET
I'd like to see a bill introduced in the Congress or Senate that would grant people injured in combat the right to not pay federal tax ever again for the rest of their lives. Or if they died in action, the same rights granted to their direct families.

I think this is the least that the country can do for these men and women.
Posted By Anonymous Quing Chao, Yorktown Heights, NY : 11:09 PM ET
Anderson- The facility was noteworthy. We need more or them. However I must question the sincerity and sanity of the veterans as there was no sense of pain , loss, or anger. were they on meds or something???
Hell I was mad , hurt for them. I mean you lost your face, your legs and you have nothing but positive words. WTF. Give me a break a freakin break .

Then there is the picture of the President running with a vet with prosthetic legs. I mean my God man. This is too much.

And finally the vet said he still wants to work with the military in some capacity illustrating his personal dedication and commitment to the armed forces- I only wish our politicians only had that same level of personal dedication and commitment for the safety of our troops. Get them the hell out of Iraq.

God Bless Each and Every One of our Soldiers.
Posted By Anonymous Cevon Cotton , Arlington,VA : 11:12 PM ET
Intrepid Fallen Heros Fund: A govt that is spending billions on the war in Iraq...and it is was these wonderful private citizens, the Fishers' who started this fund/facility. Why did it take private citizens to make this facility a reality?
Posted By Anonymous MMMolde Mpls MN : 11:22 PM ET
WOW! Our troops deserve these great facilities and rehabilitation!
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Milwaukee, Wisconsin : 11:39 PM ET
I just retired from the US Air Force in June 06. I am a disabled vet from the the Gulf War and the War on Terror. I am very proud to ahve served the people of our country. I am ashamed that our gov't is literally turning a blind eye to funding the critically needed help the we need upon leaving the service. Our families are the ones that really suffer. Our Families go to war with us and the gov't won't even help a disabled vet help pay tuttion for our children to attend a community college. This is my complaint and I am ashamed. Your program is showcasing situations that make my concerns seem like nothing. Keep after them Mr Cooper.
Posted By Anonymous James A White, MSgt, USAF, Ret Waterville, Wa. : 11:49 PM ET
I think it's great that The Center For the Intrepid and the new Fisher houses were build. I also love the story on the homeless vet. I believe that we all don't like how the war in Iraq is going, we still have to support our troops and make it possible for them to come home and get the help they need and deserve. No one man asks to be injuried or killed. They volunteer their service to defend out country and our freedom.When they get home what do they get though? Most are getting heartache and run arounds from the government. The same people who say they believe in our troops, but yet hang them out to dry. The demorcrats and republicans need to set aside diffrences and stop worrying about polictical gain and focus on are men and women giving thier lives. They give thier lives so one can be a demorcrat or republican. I am ashamed of how our goverment is handling this situation on the war. We the people need to speck our minds more and argue less. United we stand, Divided we fall. Words to live back in a time of need like now.
Posted By Anonymous Joshua Meyer, Highlands, Texas : 12:17 AM ET
That was a great show tonight Anderson. Being from Canada I hadn't heard of this fantastic new rehabilitation building for these recovering heroes and I'm sure I'm not the only one. By your show being internationally seen and with these sites listed now to go to to help, I'm sure there'll be a lot more interest from America's neibours. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 12:27 AM ET
Thank you so much for showing this Fisher House and Intrepid Hospital segment.And yes there is a but to this.I have already written Senator Clinton about my distaste of her using this opportunity to further her agenda.I am also a bit disappointed in CNN for not dedicating the entire segment to the military,s recoveries from injuries.McCain's comments also could have been limited to our military's recovering from injuries.CNN has the time and resources to keep Presidential Candidates and political interviews seperate.In the future you may want to take this suggestion because more soldiers will be arriving and I personally would love to see how the veteran in the car has had his life improved.Please continue to keep us informed and have more soldier interviews.
Posted By Anonymous Joy Shivers ,Quinlan,Texas : 1:05 AM ET
Have given to both groups. They are great.
Posted By Anonymous Mindy Abraham, Oceanside NY : 8:21 AM ET
Was disappointed with the large amt of time given over to rhetoric of Hillary and John. Empty words, if you ask me. Would rather have had more emphasis on the community spirit that came in to play in raising up this wonderful facility. But overall, want to thank ac360 for showing this segment. This place shows that health care is better off in the hands of private donors than the inefficient, bureaucratic government agencies.
Posted By Anonymous Stephen, Concord MA : 1:41 PM ET
Thank you Anderson, another great story. You can go out and find the real life needs and bring them top the attention of the world. This is an outstanding program.
The Fisher family should be commended for their work. We can spend billions of dollars elsewhere in the world, but have to rely on the contributions of our own to take care of those who fought for freedom for all of us.
This story should have been mentioned at the State Of the Union address, with someone from the Fisher family present.
We heard alot about all the happens in the other parts of the world, why didn't we hear about this are the Katrina affected New Orleans are Gulf Coast region rebuild effort?
Posted By Anonymous Mike St. Amant LA : 7:38 PM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

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