The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

October 16, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013

Sen. Manchin resolved death gratuity issue

As a retired naval officer, having served 30 years, and now as vice president for community development and public affairs at Fisher House Foundation, I was shocked to see your letter from Jack Bowyer.

Last Tuesday morning, Sen. Joe Manchin contacted Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher House Foundation, to ask if the Fisher House Foundation would step in and pay the families the death gratuity until the shutdown was resolved. Fisher immediately said yes and the foundation moved forward to make payments to the families.

Sen. Manchin signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that morning offering Fisher House Foundation’s assistance to the Pentagon. The next day the House of Representatives passed a bill that authorized the Pentagon to pay the death gratuity, by Thursday the Senate had passed the bill and by Thursday evening President Obama signed it into law.

The Pentagon is now paying the families. In the meantime, the Fisher House Foundation is offering all 29 families a $25,000 check each to help ease their burden, all thanks to the original phone call from Sen. Manchin.

Sen. Manchin is the reason why this issue was moved to the forefront.

As a West Virginian, I’m from Oak Hill, I am grateful for the intervention offered by Sen. Manchin. He and his team stepped in to resolve a very difficult issue.   

Cindy Campbell

Fisher House Foundation

Rockville, Md.


Please help us make Relay For Life success

Welcome to the Relay For Life 2014 season. We are really excited to get this year started!

We need your help to make our event the best that it can be. We want our event to continue to reflect the heart of our community and we want it to continue to be successful.

Last year, together, we raised over $90,000. Thank you for your support and help. But we can do better!

In preparing for 2014 we are looking for additional volunteers to plan the event.  Please join us at the American Cancer Society Office, 921 W. Neville St., Beckley, on Thursday, Oct. 24, to see how you can help and to meet our new Staff Partner and Relay For Life specialist, Melanie Meachum.

This is an informal gathering so come anytime between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We hope to see you there.

Each year, 11,450 people in West Virginia will be diagnosed with cancer, including 1,180 new colon cancer cases, 1,460 new breast cancer cases, 2,100 new lung cancer cases and 1,470 new prostate cancer cases.

Cancer will kill 4,660 West Virginia residents this year. Are you guaranteed that you will not be one of these?

When the American Cancer Society was established in 1913, no one survived cancer. Today, two in three will survive. Help us make that three in three. We must join together as a community in the fight against cancer. Together, we can finish the fight!

Mark your 2014 calendar for July 11 and join us at our annual Relay For Life event.  Contact the American Cancer Society office at 304-252-5521 for information or directions.

Again, thank you in helping in the fight against cancer!

Pat Davis

Media chair


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