Last updated on 2014.04.09
Veterans for a Strong America, a Swift-Boaty organization created by Republican South Dakota lawyer Joel Arends to put a patriotic gloss on arch-conservative bushwah, appears to be doing something nice. My inbox lit up this afternoon with a press release from VSA announcing a medical mission to the Philippines, leaving Sunday and returning on January 14.
Here's the full release:
Vets Deploy to Philippines to Aid Typhoon Victims
Vets Group will Administer Over a Million Dollars in Needed MedicineFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESIOUX FALLS, SD January 2, 2014 – The Veterans for a Strong America Foundation has announced it will be sending medical professionals that are combat veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide medical services and aid relief efforts in the Philippines.
From January 5 through January 15 six veterans from five states will converge on the Philippines to provide medical and logistical support to existing relief agencies. In addition to the six veterans, five other personnel will also provide medical, logistical and relief support.
Veterans for a Strong America Foundation chairman Joel Arends will lead the group to the Tacloban area of the Philippines, one of the hardest hit areas by Typhoon Haiyang. “Veterans are looking to further their service out of uniform and the group that we’ve recruited is perfectly suited to bolster the relief effort – they know how to handle adversity in austere conditions and will adapt very quickly and hit the ground running. Our team is filled with a mix of military and civilian medical professionals that all have significant experience they can bring to bear in a part of the world that needs our help right now.”
In addition to bringing skilled medical professionals to the Philippines, the group will also bring along $1.5 million in much-needed antibiotics and other vital medicine that has been unable to make it way to the hardest hit areas of the islands. “Thanks to the great efforts of our partners and team members, they were able to procure over a million dollars in medicine that we will bring with us and administer while on the ground,” said VSA Foundation chairman Joel Arends.
The Foundation also has a secondary mission – to provide veterans with meaningful international experiences that build relationships with other countries. “The Philippines and the United States have a long history of working together and our military team members know that history reaches back to the special bond formed between the two countries during WWII. Trips like these help us build and strengthen international relationships between our countries and veterans are some of the best trained diplomats our nation has to offer” [Veterans for a Strong America, press release, 2014.01.02].
Just as interesting is the note at the bottom. The e-mail came from VSA, and they tell me to direct media inquiries to VSA's e-mail, but the footer reads thus:
Copyright © 2014 Dr. Annette Bosworth for Senate, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a member of the media.
Our mailing address is:
Dr. Annette Bosworth for Senate
2601 S. Minnesota Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
So the VSA press release is copyrighted by the Bosworth Senate campaign. I don't usually see press releases copyrighted; that makes me wonder if they slapped "For Immediate Release" at the top just to trick me into reprinting copyrighted material so Annette and husband Chad Haber could finally tell their lawyer Joel to sue the Madville Times.
But let's not be conspiratorial. The release doesn't say Annette is one of the civilian medical professionals joining this mission, but her recent Twitterage about booking tickets to the Philippines and asking God for money, as well as some underground chatter I've heard about Team Bosworth-Haber organizing something they hope to brand as "Delta Force Medics," suggests this Annette's latest flight of fancy.
This trip could be the smartest thing Annette does all year. She'll get away from Facebook and conservative pandering. She'll get away from Starbucks and the daily personal revivals at Hy-Vee. If she's really lucky, she'll get away from Chad. She'll get back to what she's really good at: caring for patients. Dealing with medical crises. Doing the good she's best equipped to do. Maybe she'll get four days in to helping people in need and remember why she got her medical degree.
And on the plane ride back across the big blue ocean, she'll tell Joel to draft her termination of candidacy to send to the FEC. She'll get home, hug her boys, restore her clinic's normal operating hours... and tell Chad to get a real job. That might have made #11 on my 2014 wish list.
Do good work, Joel and Annette. Serve others with pure hearts.