Monday, June 14, 2010

Long After The Hot Air Leaves The Balloons...

...our veterans still have to deal with their serious, service-related disabilities, including ALS.

From the Flag Day Indianapolis Star Letters to the Editor --

Airport Authority disregards needs of disabled veterans
Posted: June 14, 2010
The Indianapolis Airport Authority's decision to eliminate the discount for disabled parking seemed dictatorial in that organizations with a vested interest were not notified or even consulted for input.In Indiana, our legislators authorized a disabled American Veteran license plate. This handicap plate is available for those who have served our country and have been evaluated by the Veterans Administration with a service-connected disability that impairs mobility. These veterans, who gave a part of their body, are now considered a "financial burden." It is a sad state of affairs when the Airport Authority welcomes the return of the men and women in the armed forces with balloons, pomp and ceremonies but then, once they are back, they are quickly forgotten.I hope the members of the Airport Authority are able to sleep at night visualizing a vet in a wheelchair trying to get to a pickup shelter during rain, snow or other extreme weather conditions. Happy dreams.

Mike Whelihan
State adjutant
Disabled American Veterans Department of Indiana

Why is Sleepy so concerned about the cheesy behavior of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, you ask? First, Sleepy is a proud citizen of Indianapolis, a city that is an outstanding and hospitable place where we like to treat people with respect. Second, ALS is a service-related disability for all veterans who have been diagnosed . Gravity becomes an unbelievable enemy for those dealing with ALS, and travel is difficult beyond most people's wildest imaginations. Why in the world would a world-class city decide to start to save money on the backs of those with ALS by making their travel more difficult or more expensive?

Lou Gehrig's Disease is a pretty crummy fringe benefit of serving your country so that all Americans can travel freely. Our military veterans with ALS should be treated as heroes and not as cash cows for the parking lot.

Thank you, Mr. Whelihan. Thank you, veterans with ALS.

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