Good morning, people, and welcome to the Summer of 2016.
For some of us, it’s already off to a rollicking start, what the Golden State Warriors becoming the first team in 34 years to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Conference Finals in defeating Oklahoma City in Oakland last night.
Among the fans enjoying it live last night was one Bernie Sanders, campaigning in the Golden State a week before the big primary there. According to the Sanders campaign (via pool reporter Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle), the Democratic presidential candidate watched the second half behind one of the baskets with actor/supporter Danny Glover.
“We came in the second half and the Warriors turned it around,” Sanders said. “The Warriors were down 3-1 and they turned it around and I think that that’s what we’re going to do, too. A very good omen for our campaign.”
A reporter asked Sanders if the Warriors comeback was because of his appearance? “Absolutely. No question about it,” Sanders said and smiled knowingly. “What other explanation is there?”
Meanwhile, a word about one military veteran, a day after the country observed Memorial Day.
I was driving home from Orlando to Tampa along I-4 yesterday morning when the NPR news anchor that Charles Cavell had died last week.
Cavell was one of the more than 60,000 Army and Navy troops during WW II who volunteered to participate in “experiments” that our military was conducting. What they neglected to tell Clavell and all the other men who volunteered was that the “experiments” were involving the of use of mustard gas. The military kept those tests of those troops’ personnel records – and swore them all to secrecy, with the threat of a dishonorable discharge or court-martial ready to be flung at them if they spoke up about what had happened to them.
After suffering from a heart attack and more than 20 surgeries due to vascular and respiratory ailments, Cavell finally told all in 1990, as did several other vets. This led to the military then declassifying those experiments, with the Veterans Administration promising to provide compensation for what they those troops had suffered from. However, they didn’t deliver that compensation to many of those vets, unfortunately. That was even though he had copies of the Navy’s notebooks regarding those military experiences.
Thanks to the publicity of his plight from NRP reports, his daughter says in the last year of his life, Cavell was granted some additional benefits and back pay after his 26-year battle.
However, Cavell died last Wednesday at the age of 89. He’s a man I had never heard of until yesterday, but someone that seems to have deserved better than what his country did to him, and so many of his colleagues.
The story also indicated that the problems with the VA transcend Robert McDonald, or General Eric Shinseki (McDonald’s predecessor) for that matter. I’m sorry it took until Memorial Day to learn about him, and now he’s gone.