“Thank you for your service.” We’ve all heard the words, we might have even said them ourselves. While thanking a Service member for his or her service to our country is a nice gesture, many individuals and organizations do not understand or know how to provide meaningful thanks beyond kind words or a Military discount.
In September of 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs released findings from its analysis of Veteran suicide data for 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The findings were based upon a comprehensive examination of more than 55 million records from 1979 to 2014. Among many other things, they found that risk for suicide was 22 percent higher among veterans when compared to U.S. non-veteran adults. We lose a veteran to suicide every 72 minutes, equaling 20 veterans a day.
Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith chronicles the far-flung journeys of Alaskan legend Dick Griffith, and now it’s official. His story is being made into a film. A PBS documentary about Griffith’s life was fully-funded as of April 5, thanks to partnerships with Alaska Public Media, a Rasmuson Foundation grant, the generous support of Dr. John Lapkass, and the contributions of dozens of people in and outside of Alaska who donated to the campaign.
Wiinga Ayagiaruunga. Manuqutarmiunguunga. Mamterillermiungulua-llu. Kassatun ayukengerma. Tuall, Yuguunga-wii. Hello. My name is Ayagiaq. I am from Manokotak and Bethel. I am non-Native on the outside, but I am Yugtun. When I found out the May issue of the ECHO was focusing on what being Alaskan means to you, I knew immediately that I wanted to write on the topic. However, I wasn’t prepared for the internal struggle I would face as I mulled around how to describe it. Then, I realized that being Alaskan meant not having to define it because it is in everything I do, everything I say, and everything I am.
Impatience and intolerance for others seem to be hallmarks of 21st century American culture, as well as a general lack of awareness of others. Nowhere are those trends more evident than at the local supermarkets. I am probably just as guilty as others when it comes to supermarket impatience. When I only have a few items, I’ll make a beeline to the self-checkout lane. It bothers me, however, because I wonder if I’m ultimately contributing to the elimination of jobs.
Drive down any highway, and you will see intentional landscaping. These areas are planted with lovely perennial trees, bushes, and grass with the intention of beautifying our country, making our commute a little brighter and improving our mental state. However, more often, you may notice this landscaping has been neglected. It is now overgrown. Unsightly and dangerous, blocking visibility for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Not at all meeting the intended purpose of improving our mental state. These “Forgotten Gardens” have quite a history, and a future as well. The story begins with good intentions, but there was a fatal flaw in the plan.