Friday, April 29, 2016

Another New Postion...

Greetings Friends and Readers....

So, it is now official.. I have taken on the roll of Houston NORML's Veteran Outreach Director.  I am very happy and excited to be able to take another step towards uniting Texas Veterans. Here is my post of plan and list of goals that I posted to the Houston NORML Veterans group:

Hello all... I wanted to say howdy as your new Veterans Outreach Director. And thank Christopher Sum for all his hard work and dedication. He put on one heck of a Veteran's conference last year that was incredible!!! I hope to continue his excellence.
Towards that.. these is my plan and the goals I have developed for Houston NORML veterans...
My plan as Veteran Outreach Director is to create a strong and united group of cannabis activist veterans in the Houston and local outlaying areas. Finding leaders in those outlaying areas to assist in carrying out the following goals is also a part of the plan.
My goal is to create a strong and active core of veteran cannabis activists that would be trained to:
1. Speak about Operation Trapped to local veteran groups and appropriate organizations
2. Work Operation Trapped displays at Houston NORML events to collect signatures and bottles.
3. Help veterans prepare their bios and practice preparing for lobbying and testifying.
3. Train teams of veterans to go speak to their local representatives as veterans about how cannabis affects their lives.
4. Work on a plan to bring as many Houston veterans as desire to go to Austin and talk to members of the Veterans Committee,
and their own legislators, about how cannabis helps them.
5. Work on a plan to help as many veterans as possible to go to Austin in 2017 to testify before any relevant hearings.
6. Come up with other ideas to help further the cause in any way that we can.- Please let me know any ideas YOU veterans have out there! We are a team!
Wish list:
I would love for Houston to have a Houston NORML Veterans banner for parades and events for us and our supporters to identify us and to march behind.
I would like for us to have Houston NORML Veterans bracelets, pins (bigger pins!) and T-shirts etc.
I would love to see us develop some Operation Trapped gear as well to support the cause.
All veterans need each other in this fight. Not all of us can do this, but some of us can. Those veterans that can't go to Austin, can write and call their legislators and committee members and still help us all out. We veterans have been told that we are the ones that can help enlighten our legislators. It is also very therapeutic to participate in the process of bringing justice to veterans and our fellow citizens here in Texas. We understand Esprit de Corps!
Here is the link to Operation Trapped:
I look forward to Houston Veterans becoming a force for Austin to recognize and be accountable too. Time for this to end! Please join me in marching us forward!!!!

I included a link to here.. so if you came from that, welcome!
On another note, myself and fellow MST survivor L head to Austin to walk with Team Hope tomorrow. It will be in memory of Vincent. Only lightening will keep me from it. Then a meeting after with his family.
It already brings me to tears to think of him... and I know he will be with us tomorrow.

Well, I'll update ya'll as things go along...
Over and out,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hope... Starts with an R

Welcome friends and readers,

There are innumerable thoughts swirling around in my head today.  I have put off this post until I could wrap my brain around recent events.

First.. I like to start and end with goodness when I can. The headline... will only make sense to a tiny number of people who may come here. But, it makes more then enormous sense to me.

A few days ago, the same fellow veteran Arthur, that I had gone to Myra Crownover's office last year had gotten an appt so see the staff member at the Veteran's office after our upcoming PACT meeting. I asked if I could come along, and he welcomed me.  I worked on getting my folder ready to give him. I had another copy of War Without End, and a paper by the Baker Institute. Arthur had also gotten a copy of the book "Cannabis saved my life' and he would have all the patients present write in it before he presented it to the the Senators office.

My dear friend Dan

Sunday I drove up to Austin to be at the PACT meeting in the morning. It was a difficult and emotional time for me. I did have a new roommate, K, who I had a wonderful time with. We talked for hours and really enjoyed each others company. We walked to a nearby restaurant and I had tortilla soup, which was wonderful. We stayed at my fave BnB. It is only a few minutes from the capitol, and it doesn't take long to get there. I was very anticipatory about the meetings that day.

Arthur and a visitor

Shortly after we arrived at the meeting room, the Vet Committee staffer arrived to talk with Arthur and I. He gave us some quality time, about an hour, and he said he had several questions for us when we came to the appointment in a few hours.  I was glad to be able to thank him again for his words after the committee hearing. 

Myself, the visitor and Jax

As for our first meeting without it's founder Vincent.  It..... was...eyeopening. It was heart wrenching in more ways the one. Above all, it was wonderful to see patients that had come from all over Texas to unite in this cause. There is much I will not say here now. Perhaps in time, perhaps never. 

Vincent, we miss your wisdom and compassionate heart.

After the meeting, Arthur and I headed over to the meeting.  I do not have words to fully express the gratitude for the time that R dedicated to talking to Arthur and I. He had good, solid questions. He gave us advice on how to move forward. And above all.. he said we were getting closer.. and that providing the Senator with scientific research would help a lot. At the end, he also said to keep doing Operation Trapped. He said the Lt. Gov decides what hearings like this are held.  So I think that writing and asking him for a hearing into this would  be helpful. There was so much I got to say, and have HEARD.... for what felt like a long time. Not since my meetings with Reps Joe Moody and David Simpson have I felt this much better, and reassured.  Patience.. yes.. I have that.. there are patients though, veterans, who do not have the time to be patient.   

But I will continue to fight and gather information. One thing we veterans are good at.. it's accomplishing a mission.  Make it harder? Damn f'ing right, we'll fight even harder. We have the dead, children and veterans to fight for. We have Moms, Dads, grandparents, siblings, friends.. fellow humans we don't even know that we must fight for.  I pray.. I pray.. the time will come when Texas will allow us veterans to finally, finally rest. To lay down our arms of battle and just be. Not have to keep doing as we have.  This last battle.. for all of our country men.. and for the world. Not just Texas, which is all of the above.  

We have all tried so many things, as a fellow vet just told me, she has tried things she should never have tried. Things that endangered herself and her child at one point.  Medical cannabis is generally the last thing that gets tried, not the first.  This has led to the death of many who would not try it for they will not break the law.  But I did not come here to die this way.. by my own hand, after the horrors those asshats put me through.  So I will live.. carefully.. and hypothetically...missing the feeling of safety I once had. To come here.. and now.. to risk my freedom, for my life and more so for the lives of others. 

Our time will come. One day I can come here and declare that the war on patients and people has finally ended. 

Over and Out,