This week the Johnson City press finally printed one of my numerous submissions. They chose a short attack upon the depth of concern for veterans expressed by our Congressman, Phil Roe. Using material found on an old campaign website detailing his duty stations while in the army, I pointed out what I feel to be the lack of hardship experience by officers and hospital staff compared to that of the hardship visited upon the line units. Any combat vet will tell you that there is a discrepancy. This gap is what I was focusing upon.
Yesterday morning the phone rang and caller ID told us it was Congressman Roe. We get lots of robo calls and we just let the answering machine pick up the call. As it picked up, we recognized that it was actually our elected representative. So I grabbed the phone and took the call.
The gist of the half-hour or so phone call consisted of him explaining his tour in Korea and what he was doing now, in his opinion to improve veterans’ services. He apparently felt that in pointing out the gap mentioned above, that I had intended to question his personal courage. That was not my intent and I told him that.
He had several other points that he felt I had made using incomplete information. I asked him for correction sources and told him that I would write and submit a correction piece if he would provide the right material. While I am diametrically opposed to almost all he supports, I owe him, the newspaper, and anyone reading my blog accurate information to form assumptions. Now I’m waiting for his resources.
During the conversation, he invited me to dinner. Since the dinner was actually a Rolling Thunder Christmas party being held in Elizabethton tonight. The local Rolling Thunder group is far too tied to the teavangelist party and a local fundamentalist biker church. I’d be horribly uncomfortable around that group to begin with. Add a Christmas party and I would be really on guard.
I declined using Shabbat and my discomfort in places with high background noise levels. I offered to meet him for lunch some place quieter. We’ll see what happens.
The last Congressman I spoke to was Dick Ichord of MO when he interviewed me for my naval academy appointment. I’m not sure how much higher up the ladder of humanity Roe is, but if what he told me pans out; his professed concern for vets is greater than I knew. I’ll have to write an apology of sorts. Hope it doesn’t bleed too long.
In other matters of little or no significance beyond the property boundaries: The filter lamps are no thermo-regulated and all three lamps are working. Wood for the next overnight is inside. The new national ensign is bent onto the halyard and flying. This is flag #4 since we moved in. Dinner tonight will be minestrone.