Remember peole who can't be with family

The end of the year has arrived and the holidays are here.

Statistically, this time of year has the highest suicide rate. The combination of people feeling alone and the shorter days leave those people feeling desperate. What can we do? The answer is harder than the question. The least thing any of us can do is to smile more. I guarantee if someone is greeted with a smile, they’ll reply in kind.

A great many families have loved ones overseas, in military service or perhaps in a non-governmental organization of some sort. The likelihood of any communication between the family members is slim.

This holiday season, while we are being thankful for that which we have, let’s remember people who can’t be home with family (for whatever reason).

Also, be wary of telephone solicitors who call looking for donations. The money these organizations collect rarely gets to those in need. If you desire to donate, do it locally; the Texas County Food Pantry being the first charity to pop in my head.

And the food pantry and several other groups around Houston always need volunteers to help with projects.

The American Legion is considering being open a couple of days a week. This will probably start out on Wednesdays then expand over the next couple of months. The narrow window of the meeting time is such that a lot of people can’t make it by to visit. By being open a couple of mornings a week, visitors can have more opportunity to stop in. Everyone is welcome to come by for a warm drink and conversation. The hours will be from 8 to 11 a.m. This will start in January, weather permitting.

Just to touch on homelessness, there seems to be quite a lot of people – veterans and non-vets alike – who are homeless, or at least living in sub-optimal conditions. While it seems to be a large number, indications are that a large percentage are satisfied with their current arrangement. That’s definitely something to look into.

As a reminder, American Legion meetings take place on the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. We invite all local veterans to attend. Pizza and non-alcoholic beverages are served.

Till next month – or rather next year – everyone have a safe holiday weekend.

Houston resident Keith Ford is a retired infantryman and an amateur writer whose work has appeared in other publications. Email

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