Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, one of the most influential documents in the history of politics made its official appearance: The Declaration of Independence. Men, who felt the weight of history resting squarely on them, courageously shouldered the burden and fearlessly signed that piece of paper. They did so knowing the penalty for failure was death and hardship for their families.
Fortunately, from that day to this, brave citizens have continued to willingly risk life and limb in service to fellow Americans. Sadly, however, as it was in July of 1776, so, too, it is now. The cost of liberty remains high.
Today, as then, gallant American service personnel continue to lay their lives on the altar of freedom. Others sacrifice precious capabilities that the average citizen takes for granted. These men and women suffer unbelievably painful wounds, lose limbs, even endure paralysis and experience scarring inside and out. The agony of rehabilitation for these injuries cannot be exaggerated.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face life under these conditions. However, some of these people are not content to just face life; they reach even further down into their stores of valor. These intrepid souls bring up even more courage and step forward to serve their fellow citizens, yet again.
We here in Oak Ridge will be privileged to host some of these valiant, wounded warriors in August. A group of just over 20 of these courageous men and women have, once again, volunteered to make our country safer.
These service members will be undergoing training at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help police combat cyber predators. This training is centered on using the Internet to identify and stop online child exploitation.
At the end of their training, our courageous warriors, who have faced bullets and bombs on foreign shores and sacrificed so much, will be on the attack once more. Conducting electronic recon while working alongside law enforcement, they will, yet again, be protecting the most innocent among us.
If you are like me, it is impossible not get a lump in your throat from the sense of pride that bubbles up when calling these heroes, “fellow countrymen.” Consequently, my staff and I have volunteered to coordinate off-duty activities for these great Americans while they are in Oak Ridge from Aug. 5-30.
If you are interested in sponsoring an evening meal, cooking for the group, or can provide anything that would make their stay more enjoyable, please contact my office by e-mail at [email protected]. Likewise, if you are interested in escorting one of these individuals with you to your house of worship, let us know your religious affiliation.
Additionally, some of these people are in wheelchairs. Therefore, if your home is handicapped accessible, please note that in your email to my office. Furthermore, please put “Wounded Warrior Meal (and/or Worship) Volunteer” in the subject line of the e-mail.