By Ellen Miller-Goins
A banner hanging at an area supermarket reminding us to pray for local troops who were fighting in the Iraq War served as a stunning reminder: If all politics is local, so is war.
When it is our friends and neighbors who are fighting on all our behalf, it is easy to keep these men and women on our minds. To pray for them. To thank them when we see them at local restaurants. To let them know they are not forgotten. So we are gratified to see programs like the recent Not Forgotten Outreach Military Family Appreciation Ski Weekend at Angel Fire Resort last month and free guided hunts at Express UU Bar Ranch, Philmont Scout Ranch and CS Ranch in January.
One area veteran, Anthony LeDoux of Cimarron, is featured in the story “Area ranches make dreams come true for veterans.” LeDoux returned from Afganistan with unresolved back problems, a knee injury and traumatic brain injuries; yet even he expressed gratitude at the service of others: “One guy had a prosthetic leg, another was missing part of a shoulder, another had been shot through the legs…Their injuries made me feel like mine were not that bad.”
We are grateful that LeDoux — together with five other disabled vets from Tennesee, Alabama, Georgia and Colorado — was given this opportunity. We are grateful that Patrick Zeigler, a survivor of the 2009 shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, found healing in the woods surrounding Cimarron.
In a letter to the editor in this week’s Sangre de Cristo Chronicle, Chuck Howe acknowledges all the community support that goes into events like these. We agree. We would like to thank all of you who have come together to serve those who served. We know many of you are veterans yourselves and for that we also say thank you. From the bottom of our hearts… Thank you.