Porter's Report

By Bill Porter

November 2005

Occasionally Frank will run a feature about a hero. This month Iím pulling out my soap box and talking about some of my own heroes.

My wife Mary and I recently celebrated our twenty-second anniversary. We have five children, four who still live at home and one away at college. Mary is a registered nurse; and a good one at that. She loves her work and is constantly looking to improve herself both personally and professionally. She enrolled in graduate school this fall and has started work on her masterís degree.

When Hurricane Katrina hit Mary registered with the US Department of Health and Human Services to help provide disaster relief. On Friday, October 28 Mary received a call from the US Surgeon Generalís office asking if she could be available to deploy to Louisiana on November 1 (we live in Connecticut). We quickly squared things away at home, made sure the bases were covered with getting the kids transportation for their after school activities (mostly done by Mary) and off she went. For the next two weeks Mary is an unpaid federal employee. She was told that the accommodations would be sparse, most likely sleeping on a cot in a tent and possibly not having access to a shower or laundry while there. She should be prepared to work long hours and spend long periods of time on her feet. None of this bothered her. The contact at the Surgeon Generalís office could not provide information on where Mary would be assigned or what she would be doing. All Mary knew was that she would be doing her part to help those in need and that was why she was going. Mary is a real hero in my eyes, along with the other volunteers who are giving so selflessly of their time and energy to help restore some semblance of order to the lives of those in the stricken areas.

Ben Stein, noted actor, writer and lawyer wrote a bi-weekly "Monday Night at Mortonís" column on E-online for years. In his final column he comments that the true stars and heroes in our world are the unnamed, anonymous individuals who perform extraordinary acts simply because they need to be done. He sums it up very well with the following:

"I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will."

For those of you disappointed because there is no bayonet report this month, I apologize; but the extraordinary circumstances and activities around the Porter household this month prevent me from spending the necessary time to prepare one of my standard columns. Hopefully youíll understand and maybe even be moved to do something to help someone in need.

The full version of Ben Steinís column can be viewed at:



That does it for another month. As always, I welcome your comments or input. Questions or comments can be forwarded to me at porterkids@aol.com

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