- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

Thank you so much for all you did to help me. I only recently learned the extent to which news spread. Although I think I still only know about a small portion of the action. It’s really amazing to find someone who can make logical things happen in an illogical world.

I had a wonderful time on my trip. I challenged myself emotionally and physically and was able to sleep and act without focusing on everyone else’s welfare — real respite. I’m hoping to use our respite hours again in late January to take out little ones to Disney. I’ve never been, and we’re meeting some cousins there, although my children know none of this.

I went to a caregiver luncheon in Hampton last month and learned that at least one caregiver was unable to attend because her respite hours were declined, so I fear the problem still exists. If I struggle again, may I contact you again, or is there a more appropriate first step for me to take?

The help you provided last fall was amazing — and so much more than many other people could accomplish. If there is anything I can ever do to assist in your mission, I would be glad to participate.

Thanks again and Happy New Year!

Christina M.
Via the Internet

Dear Christina:

Thanks should go the powers that be at the Department of Veterans and Capitol Hill. When they learned of your inability to take time off from caring for your wounded warrior husband, they made sure that the rest you needed was made possible. I am sure that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will be happy to have you and your family visit.

Shaft notes

• Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, recently recommended some of his distinguished colleagues in the House to serve as subcommittee chairs for the 113th Congress:

“The selections I am recommending for the Committee’s Subcommittee Chairmanships represent a diverse group who has served, who are doctors, and who has advocated for veterans throughout their careers. I am confident these Members will work with the Committee to improve the lives of America’s veterans, their families, and survivors, as well as to continue the Committee’s work in the previous Congress to provide oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I am also delighted to announce my colleague and friend, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the Committee. His dedication has been unparalleled, and I look forward to his continued leadership.”

* Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs: Rep. Jon Runyan (New Jersey).
* Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity: Rep. Bill Flores (Texas).
* Subcommittee on Health: Rep. Dan Benishek, M.D. (Michigan),
* Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations: Rep. Mike Coffman (Colorado),

The Sarge is looking forward to working closely with these members to ensure that the benefits earned by our nation’s veterans are not only protected, but enhanced.

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