Some Have Not

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The vote of the 218 politicians in the House of Representatives yesterday proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that some have forgotten what support for the troops in time of war means. Despite all the promises before the vote that funds would never be cut off for troops in the field, the Pelosi-Murtha bill that passed by the slimmest of margins yesterday effectively does exactly that. And the situation will get worse in a short time as funds run out and the pork-laden abomination that the House passed goes exactly nowhere in terms of actually becoming a law. The Senate will not pass their version of the bill. They will not be able to invoke cloture. Pelosi and Murtha, along with 216 other members of the House may have forgotten how to support the troops.

Some have not.

WASHINGTON – Laura Brown, a mother with a son who fought in the Iraq war, is trying to improve conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center — one laptop computer at a time.

The 50-year-old from Cody, Wyo., was chatting on the Internet with the mother of a wounded soldier two years ago when the mother mentioned she had to print out her son's e-mails and take them to him at Walter Reed because there weren't enough laptop computers to go around.

Brown, whose own son had recently returned safely from the war, thought the solution to that problem seemed incredibly easy.

"It just kind of hit me," she said. "If one person needed one, then there's others. … I mean, my son had e-mail in Iraq. I was really stunned."

So Brown formed a group, Laptops for the Wounded, to raise money for the cause.

Since its fundraising effort began in November 2005, Brown's organization has donated 27 computers to military hospitals around the country — 24 of them to Walter Reed.

On Friday, Brown flew to Washington to deliver 10 donated laptops to the hospital in person.

Those computers, which were upgraded and refitted with new equipment, included Web cameras so soldiers could lay eyes on their families from afar.

"She basically just made it her mission," said Lisa Ramdass, a case manager at the hospital who has been working with Brown to coordinate the donations.

Ramdass said the laptops are used for more than e-mail. One soldier who worked with a donated laptop couldn't speak, and was able to communicate with his family and his doctors by typing on the computer. Others who have eye injuries use the laptops to watch movies or television up close.

This is one woman who has not forgotten or turned her back on the troops. This is not Operation Valour-IT, which this site and many others have and continue to support. This is one woman's efforts to help. This is the website for Laptops for the Wounded.

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