Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Congressmen

Last week was a crazy busy week for me. Not only was I working in DC/MD for YRF but I was also there for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Being a part of both organizations and being able to pay our blessings forward is just indescribable. I had one of the busiest, yet amazing weeks last week and I just have to tell the tale of the two Congressmen I met.

Tuesday night I was invited to a dinner. Floating around me were some huge names that have a big effect on the Department of Defense. Also in attendance was a Congressman. I did not go out of my way to introduce myself, but once he heard my husband was wounded I had his undivided attention. He wanted to know all about our family. Then he asked me if I knew a few Marine and Army families that he had met. He knew them all by name as well as their family members. Then I learned he knew one of my favorite families, the McConnell family. His Chief of Staff joined in our conversation and we all shared some of our favorite moments we had had with that family. What a gift it was that we could all be brought together because we had a great family in common. That moment made my heart smile.

Then he told me a story about how Walter Reed wouldn't let him on post to see the wounded one time. His staff had been trying for days and finally he called himself. He told me how important it was to him to meet as many of our families as possible. Then when chatted about the VA and he felt our frustration and then assured me questions would be answered. You could tell how much he cared for our veterans and their families.

Not even 48 hours later I was on Capitol Hill. I went with another Dole Fellow and had two great meetings with the staff members of our two Tennessee Senators. Then I went and had two meetings Tennessee Representatives. The first one went really well, but the second meeting was not how I wanted to end my day.

Monday I noticed a Tennessee Representative boarding the same plane. He recognized me and we had that "how do I know you" moment. I informed him that he met Chaz and I back in 2011 and that Chaz had been wounded. He then asked what was I heading to DC for and I told him. He then told me to call his office and set up a meeting with him. I relayed that information to the Dole Foundation and they set it up.

When I got to his office for our meeting, he was not there. I was perfectly fine meeting with his staff. So I did. A few minutes into our conversation the Congressman appeared. He looked at me with a less than thrilled look and said "Are we going to do this?" His staffer jumped up and I sat for a second. The staffer asked me to join him. We went to the Congressman's office. I could tell the Congressman was in a foul mood, but I was not prepared for the hostile conversation that was going to take place.

I gave him the folder with information about the Dole Foundation and the bill Senator Murray was introducing. He picked up the folder and put it down and then asked me, "Do you actually understand how things get funded around here?" It was in such a hateful tone that I sat back in my chair and said, "No, please enlighten me." (He didn't like that.) I was given a cliff notes version on how a bill becomes a law, which School House Rock does a much better job of doing. He was so flippant and rude that I am still in shock that any person would speak to another like that.

Then he asked me why was all of this so important and I told him about caregivers like myself and what all we do. Then he says, "But how is your husband's care at the VA?" I told him fine because we go to the Murfreesboro VA, but the system of processing was a nightmare. He quickly told me that, "If you are fine with your VA care in Tennessee that is all I care about. I have 540,000 Tennesseans without health care because of medicare cuts that I need to focus on."

Then he asked where our kids go to school. I told him we home school. He had an appalled look on his face. He then informed me we have some of the best schools in the state of Tennessee. I asked him when was the last time he sent a child through our school system. He didn't answer that but told me that Nashville had two of the country's best high schools. I told him I am very aware of MLK and Hume Fogg and I am also aware of the lottery that you chooses if your kids attend that school. He didn't like that.

Then he said "If there's nothing else, I should move on with my day." I told him that was a great idea.

And I voted for him......It will NEVER happen again. I am pretty upset that I wasted my previous votes on that jerk. I understand that as a Congressman you have a lot of irons in the fire. I understand you are representing the people. I understand that picking issues is important and also difficult. But how in the Hell can you look at a constituent and tell her that you only care about the treatment her husband gets.

Our veterans are our national treasures and their caregivers are the hidden heroes that help them heal everyday from the wounds of war. It doesn't matter what state they reside in, you should care about them all. I know I do!

One thing I have learned from my week in DC is I now know where to invest my time. It's sad to say that I will not spend anymore time on the man I voted for and he lost my future votes. And I find it interesting that people I cannot vote for value my opinion and are still in touch with me. I have always loved politics, heck my degree is in it. (So yes, I do actually know how bills become laws and so on.) I am more invested now than I ever thought I would be. I just pray that as my life moves on, I will never become as flippant as the man I voted for.


  1. Doesn't surprise me. We deal with jerks like this at their offices here in SoCal. Please name both of them!!!

  2. I'm glad that there was some good done but so sorry about the one. It's scary that hes supposed to be serving his country and he doesn't even care.
    Life can be hard at times, but the victory is ours through Christ because of His death and resurrection.! Put your trust in Him! Praying!
    1 Corinthians 15:54-57 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. Jesus, our Redeemer lives! Praying that you have a blessed Easter, knowing that because He lives, we can live also!
    Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

  4. Know that I'm here praying!
    Revelation 21:1-4 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

  5. Our Savior is saying these words. Always praying so very hard!
    Revelation 21:5-7 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

  6. Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers!
    Revelation 7:16-17 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

  7. Always here praying!
    Psalms 40:1-4 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

  8. Continuing to lift up prayer.
    Psalms 40:5, 11, 13 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (11) Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. (13) Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.

  9. Praying right now!
    Psalms 40:16-17 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

  10. Lifting up prayer to our Great High Priest!
    Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

  11. We have an Anchor that holds no matter what storms we face! Praying!
    Hebrews 6:17-20a Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus...

  12. Know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers! Look to the Lord for all things!
    Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  13. True peace comes only from the Lord. Praying!
    Romans 5:1-4 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

  14. Still praying hard!
    Romans 5:6-9 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

  15. The only true hope comes from the Lord! Praying!
    Romans 15:4, 13 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (13) Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

  16. Continuing to pray!
    Ephesians 3:14-21 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
    My email address

  17. The Lord will always be with you! I'll always be here praying!
    Colossians 3:15-16 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

  18. Stopping by to let you know I'm still here praying!
    Psalms 59:16-17 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

  19. Know that the Lord is always with you, wrapping His loving arms around you and holding on tight! Praying!
    Psalms 18:2-6 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

  20. Praying right now!!
    Psalms 18:30-32 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

  21. Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day, Jessica! You are an AMAZING mom!
    Am Continuing to lift up prayers!
    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

  22. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!
    Keep your eyes on the Lord. He'll give you the strength to face whatever the future holds. Praying!
    2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

  23. The Lord uses everything that happens for a purpose. Praying right now!
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  24. Hope this beautiful Gospel passage gives you comfort! Lifting up prayers right now!
    Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

  25. Praying!
    Lamentations 3:21-26 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

  26. The Lord will be with you always. Praying!
    Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (8) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

  27. Lifting up prayers!
    Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

  28. Know I'm always here praying.
    Psalms 71:1-3 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

  29. Know that I'm praying right now!
    Psalms 71:12, 14-16 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help...But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

  30. Keep your eyes on the Lord! Lifting up prayers!
    2 Samuel 22:2-3, 7 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (7) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

  31. Know that I'm still here praying for you!
    2 Samuel 22:29-33 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.