Thinking of home

Published Brownsville Herald 10/17/2011

I am again writing from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston and can report that my health is improving rapidly and I am getting used to being somewhat shorter than before. The staff here is working hard to provide me with the skills necessary to live a real life as a double amputee.
Though I knew some friends I served with in Vietnam who had learned to live (not just survive) with the loss of limbs, I definitely could not comprehend what it meant personally, especially to the view each of us holds as a “man.”
Somehow the first picture I had of myself was as half a man, as I couldn’t do some things and needed help to do others. Now I see it as just another set of skills I must learn to get the job done, whatever it might be. I don’t think I would have these views had I not served in the military and gone on to other jobs and careers during my 66 years.
Like many others who are away and whose hearts are still in the Rio Grande Valley, I stay connected with an Internet subscription to The Herald, and like many others I am following with interest the activities related to the establishing a new congressional district in the Valley, so that our large and growing region would have a real voice in our future.
I was originally heartened because when I evaluated the potential Republican and Democratic votes, the balance seemed to only favor the liberal side of the scale by one vote. That alone would provide a more balanced representation, merely because of the influence the polls would have on the direction of the public activity of the resulting representative.
I hope the political machinations will permit the courts to establish a district similar to the one originally planned. It appeared that it would genuinely represent the Lower Rio Grande Valley region.
Up until now the Corpus Christi area has been speaking for us in Washington, much to our expense. I would hope that those with influence would advocate such an outcome in the halls of power that could still influence the powers that be.
At any event there will be an election next year that will include the office of Congress member. Currently our representative resides in Corpus Christi. However competent he might be, he is still influenced in his choices and disciplines by his hometown, which has many issues and industries that compete with our area. Just consider if there were choices that relate to resources or licenses in the area of immigration, Customs and Border Enforcement issues, the maritime industry, oil businesses or beach resorts and gaming.
We could never be sure that our interests would receive the most effective representation for resources that compete with the interests in Corpus, regardless of the effectiveness of our representative.
Whatever the outcome, we are still faced with electing an effective representative to Congress, we hope with strong ties to the Valley.
As is well known, my political views are a realistic version of conservative. I have voted for Democratic candidates as well as Libertarians and Republicans, but have supported Libertarian candidates.
In the coming congressional election I am told that Republicans Rusty Faulk and Adela Garza have expressed interest in casting their hats into the ring to run should there be a new district, and that the Democrats are planning a very aggressive campaign in any event, in order to recover the very valuable and influential office of congressional representative for the region.
My spies have also told me that Libertarian Ed Mishou, who ran for the congressional seat in the last election (with considerable support from a number of tea party idealists), has hinted to close friends that he would consider returning to the Republican Party, if invited, to run for the new seat as well. Were that to happen I might consider returning to the Republican fold myself. Until then, the ideals stated in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution need active defenders. To this date the Libertarians are the only real political party that, as a part of their organizational plan, advances those traditional values. Needless to say, due to my health problems I have had to reduce my personal activity with the Libertarians, but fortunately I am still able to demonstrate my interest through an honorary title. As the deadline for candidates to file draw closer, a group of Democrats have filed a complaint in court against the creation of the new district, which could not possibly be more balanced politically. I fully expect that the new district as proposed would give a new life for the residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.