Dear Edmonson Voice Editor:
Year after year, our Members of Congress are requested to support many issues. While Alzheimer’s is just one of the many causes they hear about, it’s personal to me. As some who was has lost two grandparents that were diagnosed with this disease, I am one of the millions of Americans who has experienced the emotional, physical, and financial heartache that dementia has on an individual and their family. I know there are more ways to help families like mine, and that’s why I work with Alzheimer’s association of Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter.
Thanks to my Senator Rand Paul, 2019 will always be a year to remember in our fight to end Alzheimer’s. On December 20, 2019, due to the bipartisan support of our congressional leaders, a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $10 million to the BOLD infrastructure for Alzheimer’s act was SIGNED INTO LAW! This HUGE milestone has brought our annual federal funding for Alzheimer’s to $2.8 billion a more than six fold increase since 2011. For me, this is more than just a bill passing in Congress- these additional dollars offer real hope to families like mine as we search for a cure for our nation’s most devastating and expensive disease.
This exciting news has left me feeling more energized and inspired to work with our elective officials in the year ahead, and I hope you feel the same way! Please join me in thanking Senator Paul for his leadership in prioritizing the eradication of Alzheimer’s in 2019. I look forward to continuing this momentum in 2020 with both Senator Paul and Senator McConnell, as well as our other Congressman representing Kentucky. Happy New Year!
Smiths Grove, KY
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For family members awaiting the end of a long road to the final goodbye, Alzheimer's is a terrible foe. Unlike so many terminal illnesses we face in life this antagonist seemingly refuses to let go.
My family and I have endured 5 years watching my wife's mother leave us behind bit by bit until only our precious memories of her remain. What a cruel assailant we have fought alongside her.
I've thanked the Lord many times for the Sunday morning in May 2014 when He sent our dear one His Grace as she prayed her own prayer of repentance along with my beloved Mother Church at her side. Thank God for the plan of salvation, that whosoever would could be saved.
Now we wait upon the Lord as our loved one lies in Hospice House care, unknowing and dreading when that last breath, that final heartbeat will come and she makes that leap across the Jordan river. God speed mother.
Odis and Debbi Allen
I would like to thank the Edmonson County Road Care Unit Mr. Joe Montgomery Jr. (JO JO) and his helper, for responding in a timely manner to cut up and remove a huge tree that had fallen across the road on E. Harris Road, off Mt. Zion Road.
At least six families were cut off until Jo could get the tree cut up and removed. Thanks to you JO and the Edmonson County Road Department, good work.
--Jonathan York US ARMY Retired
Letter To The Editor: Bowling Green Reader Shares Pleasant Experience From Local Memorial Day Ceremony
On Monday May 27, 2019, I was fortunate to be in the audience to hear the guest speaker for The Edmonson County Memorial Day Remembrance Services for the county's men and women who had served their country in the Wars of the Twentieth Century. I came to hear the speaker, Mr. Leon Tarter, tell of his experiences in World War II while serving with an Infantry Company immediately following the D-Day Invasion on June 6, 1944.
Tarter's assignment as a scout for the Infantry Company took him on into Europe just ahead of the main thrust of the US Forces. Mr. Tarter's recollection of his experiences during that time were astounding, and his wonderful way with words and his candid look at what he experienced in those months made it a riveting story for both adult and younger listeners. Tarter was indeed the "centerpiece" of Edmonson County's Memorial Day Celebration, and I was glad that so many young people were in the crowd that day to hear that great story. But in addition to the speech made so well by Mr. Tarter, and with such good humor interspersed with really horrifying experiences he related; there were other things that made me glad to be in Brownsville that day.
Just before the ceremony began, I had walked down the halls of the Edmonson County Courthouse. I was amazed and impressed to see the very large collection of pictures of the men from that county who had served in the U.S. Military in each of the wars of the 20th Century: World Wars One and Two, Korea, and Vietnam. It seemed to me that Edmonson County had a huge number of men serving during that time; especially from a county with a smaller population than many in Kentucky. Perhaps I simply do not know how many other counties in Kentucky sent the same percentages of its young men into the nation's wars. Or could Edmonson County be more patriotic than some other counties? Something I once read flashed into my mind as I walked by the pictures of the men and women from Edmonson County who had served in the nation's wars. The quote I recalled was written by author Rick Atkinson, who wrote the famous book about West Point: "The Long Gray Line". Atkinson said, "In 1950, two thirds of office corps [at West Point] were drawn from farms or towns with fewer than 2,500 people. American values are still intact there."
As the day in Brownsville progressed, the Boy Scouts, who had many, many badges for service on their uniforms, were presenting the colors, helping the elderly, like me, to seats, and performing the duties assigned to them, with great courtesy, I wanted to give them each a special badge. Add the choir of little children singing such things as "American Tears, the amazing "singing sheriff," singing the closing hymn, the living veterans of the U.S. Wars of The 20th Century in the audience, and the general kindness and patriotic spirit of the entire community at the event, and I am sure that the author, Rick Atkinson, would recognize a community where "American values are still intact."
I was not surprised to learn that the county also values good education and that the Edmonson County Middle School has recently produced an award-winning academic team this year.
The visit to Brownsville on Memorial Day weekend was an uplifting and inspirational day --- and although there are now probably more citizens living in Edmonson County than in 1950 when author Atkinson said that "American values are still intact in the small towns of America," the evidence on Memorial Day in Brownsville, Kentucky, in 2019 gives one the feeling that those values still exist in small-town America.
Mary M. Lucas, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
As an Alzheimer's Association Congressional Team Member, I champion the fight to end Alzheimer's and am proud of our community’s efforts. On September 8th, 900 residents from Bowling Green, KY and the surrounding area, joined the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s ® united in a movement to reclaim the future for millions. Through their dedication, participants raised over $120,000!
The Alzheimer’s Association is grateful for these passionate people. Every dollar raised through the Walk will further critical efforts to advance advocacy and education, enhance care and support programs, raise awareness, and promote research. However we could still use your help to reach our 2018 fundraising goal. Donations can be made online through the end of December at alz.org/walk.
As our Walks wrap-up and November rolls in, the Alzheimer’s Association is recognizing and honoring the more than 15 million family members and friends across the U.S., 271,000 right here in Kentucky, who are currently caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s.
This November during National Family Caregivers Month, I, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, encourage people to lend a hand to caregivers because I know first-hand the demands associated with being a caregiver, and how a helpful hand can make a world of difference.
My Nannie suffered from Alzheimer's for nearly eight years before losing her battle. My family and I watched her forget how to do the things she loved like sewing and cooking. This disease slowly took away her memory of who we were and then her ability to care for herself. We felt helpless in the fact that we could not provide her any cure for this horrific disease. My Papaw provided excellent loving care to her in the home which they shared for over 50 years. My Dad, who is an only child, and my Mom moved in with my grandparents to help provide support and care. Providing care to a loved one with Alzheimer's is a family affair. This became evident to me as I watched my entire family come together to care for Nannie in the final stages of the disease. Caretakers are often overlooked, but their compassion to care for those they love who are suffering from Alzheimer's is like none other. The hope for a cure of this disease that steals memories is what drives us everyday during the journey.
I also you to join me in asking Senator Rand Paul to support critical pieces of federal legislation related to Alzheimer’s, including the BOLD Act and PCHETA. To learn more and take action, call 1-800-272-3900 or visit alz.org.
Alzheimer’s Association Congressional Team Member for Kentucky’s 2nd District