Monday, March 21, 2016

500th post

In October of 2009 I wrote my first post for A Means to Heal. I thought that it might be just 50 posts of the 50 state memorials, but, as I have explained before, not all states have official state memorials, so the project expanded to include many, many more. This has turned out to be much better than my original plan.

I have visited every state in the U.S.A. at least one time and most I have been to two or more times. I have visited memorials large and small, met many great people and have been privileged to learn many stories of memorials, vets, and their families. It has been an honor to have been part of this on-going story.

I am often asked, "what's your favorite memorial?" My answer remains the same, "the one I am standing in front off ," this never seems to change, every time I find a "new" site, I am completely taken by it. I stand, even  if just for a little while, and think about those it honors and remembers. If names are present, which is not always the case, I try to read them and imagine what this man or woman might have been like; what they might have achieved and accomplished were it not for 'Nam.

I would have said, in 2009, that this project was about whatever I was still carrying around from "Nam but because of those I have met and the stories I have heard, I now know that it is so much more than that. I have told the story before about the vet who wrote me and said he'd been in therapy for years for PTSD, but that after visiting A Means to Heal, he knew he was going to get well. What could possibly be better than that? That was the day it dawned on me that this was about so much more.

The project as not only taken me to each state but also to many unimagined events. I have spoken in schools, to V.V.A. Chapters, to the V.A., I was asked to write an article for a magazine, have been interviewed by a number of newspapers, including The Washington Post, been asked to speak around the country and have been interviewed on the radio. I was asked to participate in my county's official Welcome Home, called Honor and Gratitude, and be part of a documentary made about Vietnam vets. Future plans include presenting at a Veterans Day event in Florida and, possibly, at a Veterans for Peace International Convention later in the summer and LZ (landing Zone) Maryland this June. These last couple are still in the talking stages and I hope that they work out.  I only mention any of these things because each was a complete surprise to me. I just started out to take some pics.

The project continues, I still seek memorials and visit them as possible and I continue to try to reach new readers in the hope that some other vet may find something useful and healing in seeing these memorials. Some of you know that I created a FB and a Google+ plus pages to promote A Means to Heal and at last check the Google + page, which provides info on how many folks visit, was fast approaching 500,000 visits in a little over two years. I know that sounds like a lot, but, it is not even most of those who went to 'Nam, much less other population. I hope anyone who happens to read this post will take the time to think about any 'Nam vets, or others, they may know and let them know about the site. It has been proven to provide healing. This seems like a good place to point out, as I always do, that there is NOTHING for sale on the site, only pictures and information about memorials.

Having said that, I think this might, also, be a good time to announce that I have completed my long talked about book, It, too, is called A Means to Heal and was, in fact, the original goal of this endeavor. I am talking to publishers and trying to see if any are interested. That remains to bee seen. I will certainly keep you posted.

So, this is a somewhat momentous day for me, the 500th post on this site. I hope to post many more, but in the meantime, I want to thank all of those who have supported me throughout this effort. Many have helped in many ways and I just want to reiterate my gratitude: without all of you, you know who you are, this project would not have been possible. Again, my heartfelt thanks.

So, post number 501 will be a return to Connecticut, for the 9th time, so join me there, as always, at 9:00am on the 26th.

To see memorials from any state, click on the state name on the left side of this page.

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