Thank you for support to returning soldiers
The returning soldiers of the 3rd BN, 297th Infantry would like to express their deepest gratitude to all the friends and community members who welcomed them home at the airport the morning of Jan. 22. The support shown by the more than 300 people who attended to say welcome home was overwhelming and sincerely appreciated.
We would especially like to thank the Capital City Republican Women Support Our Troops committee, led by Gale Sinnott, who made signs to post around town, decorated the airport for our arrival and passed out American Flags to those coming to the airport. We greatly appreciate the community's support while we were deployed, and ask that the community continue to support the Juneau and other Alaska National Guardsmen still deployed overseas.
We anxiously await their return in the coming months, and hope to hold a care package drive for them the first weekend of March. Thank you.
Thank you for giving my family a lift in Anchorage
I want to thank Steve Allwine of Mendenhall Auto Center for coming to the aid of my family. As many of you know, my son, Staff Sergeant Brent Bartlett, was seriously injured on Dec. 21 while serving in Iraq with his Alaska Army National Guard unit.
On Dec. 30 he was transferred to Fort Richardson in Anchorage for continued medical treatment and physical therapy. His wife and 18-month-old son joined him on Dec. 31 in Anchorage .
My son's wife was able to get a discounted military airfare from Alaska Airlines and obtain reasonably priced military housing for their stay in Anchorage. However, for the family to be able to stay together, they needed some form of ground transportation. The cheapest rental car we could find cost in excess of $150 per week. Already facing housing costs of $1,000 plus airfare and living expenses while in Anchorage, the cost of a rental car for a month was more that the family budget could cover.
In hopes of finding a discounted car, I contacted Steve at his Mendenhall Auto Center office. Steve made a call to Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Center in Anchorage and convinced them to provide a car at no charge for my son and his family to use while in Anchorage. Because of Steve's actions my son was able to spend 24 days with his wife and son rather than living in a barracks and only getting limited time with his family.
Steve's support for a fellow Alaskan and returning soldier made a world of difference for our family. He will always have our deepest gratitude and profound thanks.
American Heart Association encourages awareness
On Feb. 1, 2006, Gov. Murkowski will proclaim that day "Go Red for Women Day." In Anchorage, Fairbanks and across the country, there will be many Go Red for Women luncheons put on by the American Heart Association to increase awareness of heart disease and stroke in women.
The Go Red for Women campaign was started because surveys showed that women were not aware that heart disease was the No. 1 killer of women. In the United States, all cardiovascular disease (includes heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease and congenital heart disease) killed more women than all forms of cancer. There are six deaths from heart attacks to one death from breast cancer yearly. Since 1984, more women than men die per year from cardiovascular disease. The cardiovascular death rate in African-American women is 30 percent higher than white woman.
In Alaska, death from heart and stroke was the No. 1 killer of women in 2000.
What can be done? Gaining knowledge about heart disease and stroke is the most important activity one can do. Knowledge is power. Women can learn their risk factors for this disease. Risk factors can be significantly reduced by lifestyle changes, especially in diet, exercises and smoking. Go to the American Heart Association Web site at www.americanheart.org and find the tool that assesses your risk by entering your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol level and sugar levels. These are important numbers. Work with your health care provider to correct them if needed.
Do not ignore the symptoms of a heart attack such as chest discomfort (does not always feel like pain), shortness of breath, nausea, severe fatigue or sweating. A stroke may show up as weakness, partial blindness, paralysis, inability to talk or communicate or swallowing problems. Seek medical attention should these symptoms develop, and do not ignore them.
With more awareness, knowledge and effort, we will successfully meet the mission of the American Heart Association, which is to reduce death and disability from heart disease and stroke by 25 percent in the decade ending 2010.
Bob Urata M.D.
American Heart Association