Almost everyone in my acquaintance know I have COPD, an umbrella name which covers two or more lung diseases. My particular disease is emphysema, a smoker’s disease. I have been most fortunate to have received excellent care from the Veterans hospital in OKC having been hospitalized only once for a lung exacerbation that could not be cured at home. A few days before the Memorial Day weekend I knew my breathing was somewhat labored and it was getting difficult to cough up the ever present phlegm associated with COPD. It was thicker and changing color from clear to yellow, a sign to me of potential problems. Sunday night when I lay down my breathing was labored and I had developed a persistent cough, and was having more difficulty coughing up the yellow, thickening phlegm. Monday afternoon I called the VA’s Home Care number wanting an antibiotic before I worsened and treatment might be more difficult. My nurse practitioner’s regular day off is Monday but because it is Memorial Day, she is taking an extra day off. She is very qualified and handles a lot of responsibility and I’m glad she is getting a few days off. My regular nurse calls me back and says I can wait until the morrow when my regular Health Provider returns or the covering Nurse Practitioner lives in Norman and will deliver the antibiotic to me after she gets off work. In my opinion that’s up and above what these ladies do. I chose to have the cover nurse bring the pills by after work and driving the twenty someone miles from OKC to Norman.. Shortly after five p.m. the covering nurse calls and tells us she has an emergency at the Oklahoma University hospital in OKC and is not sure when she might get lose and drop the pills off to me. She said it could be ten p.m. before she gets away. She said she would drop them in our mail box. I waited up after the ten o’clock news planning to take my first pill. At twenty after eleven she had not dropped off the antibiotic. I tried to read but I was coughing up fresh blood from broken capillaries in my throat. At twenty till twelve I again checked the mail box.It’s a rainy nights. None yet. I checked again at three minutes past midnight and the pills were in my mail box. I opened the container and took the first of seven, glad to get started on beating this infection. Before going to bed I took a treatment of Albuterol in my nebulizer. I propped myself up and went to bed. The point I want to make once again is this. Because a young man serves in the military doesn’t by that deed make him a hero. He’s doing the job he signed up to do. Sometime that job earns him recognition from the military for some duty he performs, up and above, what is normally expected. The military recognizes it’s true heroes. Let me tell you who I look upon as heroes. It is the nurses who care for our servicemen in Veterans Hospitals around the country, who like the Nurse Practitioner who ordered my pills from the pharmacy, took the time to go by the pharmacy and pick up those pills for a patient she didn’t know, who after working a long day at the VA Hospital had some emergency situation arise after work, then worked another five hours before getting off to drive home in Norman, yet still took the time to drop off some antibiotic to an old vet who thought he needed them. That is up and above a job requirement and in a phone call this morning we acknowledged our appreciation. Somewhere down the road I hope her efforts are rewarded ten fold. These are our unsung heroes. I salute the men and women in our veterans hospitals who do the nitty gritty work to care and serve the America GI. God bless you all.