By Peg O’Connell, Chair, Care4Carolina
“Our troops are willing to lay down their lives for you and me … What can we do (for them)? Well, we can never do enough for our troops. But if it means passing legislation so that those who are uninsured are taken care of, then it’s worth our time and energy and the blood, sweat and tears that you’re going to spend in a legislative session.”
– Former Chief of Chaplains for the US Army (Major General) Douglas Carver (Retired)
The above quote was from the remarks made by Chaplain (Major General) Doug Carver at the June 22, 2022 Care4Carolina Prayer Breakfast. For those of you who were unable to join us, it was a truly moving event. Click here to watch. Each speaker brought a powerful message, personal witness and uplifting prayer. But, it is the message from General Carver will stick with me for a long, long time.
We have 14,000 military veterans in our state who are stuck in the coverage gap. This means that their families are also stuck in this bad situation. Veterans and families who have sacrificed so much for us. Some making the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for our country. We owe them the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance and access to healthcare when it is needed, without the constant worry of how they will pay for it.
General Carver is not a political man, he is a soldier and a man of God. His message at prayer breakfast was directed to our legislators. But in many ways, his message is also meant for each of us–the advocates for Medicaid Expansion.
The constant ups and downs in the fight for Medicaid Expansion are frustrating and exhausting. Some days I want to cry, others I want to scream and some days I want to give up. I know many of us feel this way. But we haven’t and we won’t because General Carver’s words ring loud and clear, “Our troops are willing to lay down their lives for you and me … What can we do… if it means passing legislation so that those who are uninsured are taken care of, then it’s worth our time and energy and the blood, sweat and tears that you’re going to spend in a legislative session.”
General Carver, I promise you, our 14,000 veterans and the 600,000 other North Carolinians stuck in the coverage gap that we will continue to fight. We will give our blood, sweat and toil to get this done—and only then will we offer tears. Tears of joy that we have done the right thing by those who have done so much for us.