Voices From The Readers

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High Hopes For New Program
Editor:

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, a time in which we as a nation pause to give thanks to the brave men and women of our military, and their families, for all they have sacrificed for our nation. Our military families face enormous challenges, not just emotionally, but financially, and I want to lessen that burden.

To accomplish that goal, I recently teamed up with Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger to make it easier for military families to be with their loved ones as they recover from injuries or illnesses sustained defending our nation.

In the Senate, I recently introduced S. 1776 to expand the popular “Hero Miles” program, which was originally created in 2003 by Congressman Ruppersberger. The “Hero Miles” program authorizes the U.S. Department of Defense to accept donated frequent traveler miles to provide free, round-trip airfare to family members of service members recovering at military or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers from injuries sustained in overseas conflicts.

The Fisher House Foundation, which administers the Hero Miles program, recently celebrated issuing its 25,000th airline ticket. The Foundation is a non-profit best known for its network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers.

Building on the success of the “Hero Miles,” S. 1776 would expand the program to allow the Department of Defense to accept donated hotel points in addition to airline miles. Congressman Ruppersberger has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives. I am pleased that the measure has received bipartisan support and that Senate co-sponsors include Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The Fisher House Foundation, the USO, and the Military Child Education Coalition have all come out in support of the legislation.

The creation of the “Hotels for Heroes” program is the next step in providing military families with the support they need when their loved ones are wounded or injured. Americans are known for their generosity of spirit and love of country and this new program will allow them to show how much they appreciate the sacrifices made by our military by providing their families with additional support during a very difficult time. It’s really about Americans helping other Americans who have given so much to our nation. On this Veterans Day, I can think of no greater present for the members of our military.

Ben Cardin
(The writer is a U.S. Senator.)

Support Led To Honor
Editor:

During the recent Installation of Officers of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, I had the honor of accepting the Business Philanthropy Award on behalf of the Church Mouse Thrift Shop/St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. I would like to thank all of those that made this honor possible.

Our small but very dedicated group of volunteers, our customers and those that donate items for sale, the many merchants of Berlin that have helped with both donations of goods but also advise on displays and marketing, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Berlin and the Town of Berlin.

Without the help and support of each of these, we would not have been able to accomplish our mission. With our profits, we provide a majority of the outreach funding for St. Paul’s Church locally, nationally and globally.

Helen Wiley
Ocean City
(The writer is the coordinator of the Church Mouse Thrift Shop/St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.)

November Is Hospice Month
Editor:

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care has provided in Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Dorchester counties for more than 30 years.

One of the most important messages to help people understand is that hospice care helps patients and families focus on living. The hospice team provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.

Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and long term care centers. Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness. Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what’s important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.

If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice and palliative care is right now. It is the mission of Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care to provide comfort, dignity and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness.

Alane Capen
Salisbury
(The writer is the president of Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care.)

Generosity Appreciated
Editor:

To the merchants listed below who helped to make the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians’ annual card party a great success, we thank you for your generous donations.

The donors were Bayside Skillet, Bayville Package Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Bella Mia Salon, Bonfire Restaurant, Bull on the Beach/Crab Alley, Captain’s Galley II, Cheers!, Crazy 8′s, Cupcakes In Bloom, Deer Run Golf Club, Delmarva Irish American Club, Eagle’s Landing Golf Course, Fenwick Float-ors, Fisher’s Popcorn, Clarion Fontainbleu Hotel, Francis Scott Key Family Resort, Fresco’s, Galaxy 66 Bar and Grille, Harris Teeter, Holiday Inn Oceanfront–67th Street, Hotel Atlantic, Jimmy’s Kitchen, Jolly Roger Park, K-Coast Surf Shop, Kirby’s, Kirby’s Red Onion Grille, Knights of Columbus, Lady Fenwick, Lighthouse Liquors, Lombardi’s, Main Street Enchanted Tea Room, Marina Deck, Murphy’s Bar & Grill, Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645, Ocean City Golf Club, Inc., Ocean Copy & Photographic Design, Old Pro Golf, Inc., Outback Steak House, Panera Bread, Phillips Crab House, Inc., Robin Walters Salon & Spa, Ruark Golf, Sakura Japanese Steakhouse, Sea Bay Hotel, Sea Shell City, Inc., Seacrets, Seaside Country Store, Shamrock Shanty, The Globe, The Greene Turtle/Blue Ox, The Inn on the Ocean, Victorian Charm, WalMart, Wockenfuss and World Gym Express.

Mary G. Wheeler
Ocean City
(The writer is the president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 1.)

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