Did you feel the earthquake last month? We, my wife Dorothy and I, felt it, though at first we weren’t sure whether it was one of us moving about on the sofa, or something else. When we saw our dining room chandelier swaying back and forth, we knew that nature was adjusting the geography yet again.
The earth moving in Southern California is a fact of life, and as the experts constantly remind us, a big one, capable of causing major damage is just around the corner, geographically speaking. Which brings up an important question, are you prepared? Dorothy and I went through the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake up in San Franscico, and for a time, there was no power, no radio or tv, and no telephone, cell or land line. The Bay Bridge had fallen and a major freeway collapsed. Though we were safe, many were not, and the damage to infrastructure caused significant disruptions to our daily routines and accesses that we previously took for granted.
Fortunately, Laguna Woods has a Disaster Preparedness Task Force and they have plans that will help us all get through any hard times that might occur. One of their goals is to have a building captain in every building. And if you haven’t met yours, that means no one in your building has yet volunteered.
Since we are all veterans of the military, and have all been leaders in one form or another, being a building captain is a natural position for those of us physically able. I signed up, and I can tell you the process is quick and easy, is not a physically demanding job, but can bring vital aid to your neighbors should their manor be damaged, or worse, they have suffered some injury. If you can do it, stop by the Community Center on El Toro and visit the Disaster Preparedness Office (open between 1000 and 1200 Monday through Friday.
Speaking of leaders, the members of our post are showing the community what leadership is all about. We provide an Honor Guard for all sorts of events from High School Assemblies to Laguna Woods celebrations and memorials. We supply wheel chairs and other aids to mobility to veterans and others who need them. We visit shut ins and hospitalized vets, and take them to doctor’s appointments. We also sponsor high school boys in the Boys State program that introduces them to the processes that make our government work. We also dispose of US Flags, and install flag staffs for anyone needing help.
The problem is we have a greater demand for our assistance than we have people who can help.
Leadership, we have it, and if you are able, please consider joining us, not just in the fellowship of membership with your comrades at arms, but in bringing aid and comfort to those who cannot do for themselves. You will find, as is stated in the ritual of the BPOE, that “the witchery of wealth is not in having, but in sharing” and why even the bible says that of faith, hope and charity, the greatest of these is charity (1 Corinthians 13:13) (revised versions have changed this to “love”).
Mike Thayer, USN, Ret
Commander, AL Post 257