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North Carolina has long been known for its friendliness to all things military.  I first came here as a Navy officer stationed with 2nd Anglico at Camp Lejeune in 1974, and I'm still connected to lots of veterans who have chosen to live and retire here.

One of those veterans is a man named Dan who lives in the North Carolina mountains.  Dan has more than his share of woes from his years of service, but he is a tireless advocate for veterans - and a relentless critic of Charles "Up Chuck" Taylor who will soon lose his seat to Heath Shuler.  Today Dan posted this diary at BlueNC and asked if someone would help spread his story. That is why I'm posting this.  

Dan's story shows the difference between Charles Taylor and Heath Shuler better than any advertisement or debate could ever demonstrate. Please read it to the end. Thank you.

Heath Shuler absolutely IS NOT the person which Congressional Con-Artist & Rip off Charles H. Taylor tries to make him out to be. I have spent enough time with Heath and in his presence when he has talked to others to know without a doubt that Heath is a kind, caring, person who is nobody's fool! He is well educated, and knowledgeable about our government and the way it is being run by those involved in the corruption of the system. Those I speak of are not politicians interested in making government better and a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Those I speak of are those who would sell their own Mothers or Grandmothers house out from under them without saying a word.

Heath represents the very best Western North Carolina has to offer no matter which party he mite belong to! I am just thankful he is a DEMOCRAT!  Heath represents those of us out here in far western North Carolina. The folks Charles Taylor forgot all about when he of his own volition decided that the 11th District ended and the official State Line was at the Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge at the Balsam Gap. Heath represents all of us, Big, Little, Rich or Poor. Those on disability and those who do without. He was raised in Swain County and me in neighboring Graham County. We both have seen the ill effects of Charles Taylor's administration on the far west. We have seen Logging come almost to a complete halt putting several thousand folks out of work, the closure of sawmills and the slow & steady decline of the furniture industry and railroad closures. Go to places like Robbinsville & Andrews & Murphy and look around at all of the empty store buildings. Those came under Taylor as did the closure of the hospital in Andrews, NC. He made no attempt to intervene in that matter.

And yes to the last question, Heath expects the same high degree of morals and standards from those who work around him! Heath Shuler is no fool and is not hood winked to our situation here in Western North Carolina and to the needs of our Veteran's!  On average, I would have to tell you, and this is truth you can bank on, Heath Shuler is more up to date and aware of the current needs of our Veteran's than you would think, and I know for a fact he is more knowledgeable than Charles Taylor who doesn't even have time to vote for us. Just check the DAV Records and the Library of Congress on Taylor's 0% vote on key Vet's issues during the 1st session of the 109th (current) Congress. I doubt very seriously that Charles Taylor even knows what Title 38, USC is.

I am going to tell this, I do not think Heath would care. I haven't mentioned anything about it
to any of you lately. I guess I just didn't think it was something to post on plus I have been worried sick. My Wife, Linda, has been seriously sick with a problem that seems to be getting worse lately.

We have been worried sick about what to do as I can't get her on Tri-care and the Medicaid folks would only tell us I drew too much on disability! I would like to know how!  

It does hurt to tell this story, it really hurts that we have been faced with this situation. But that is the type of government that Congressman Charles Taylor wants you and  I to have, as does State Sen. John Snow's opponent Mr. McKim. They would not gain anything so why should they help us.

Well, I was at the proverbial bottom of the barrel, at the end of my rope!  Sen. Snow went and met with the Administrator of Murphy Medical Center on our behalf to work out hospital services should we need them.

But it is what happened next that really floored me!  I was sitting here looking into a Vet's Case Brian from Heath's office had referred to me. I cot an e mail form the absolute greatest friend I ever asked for, Heaths Campaign Manager, Hayden Rogers.  During the process of sending back & forth he asked if Linda was feeling any better.

I had to tell him no but that John Snow had talked to the administrator at Murphy but I needed to be able to get her into the Doctors office first so they could refer her. All he replied was, "I'll see you Thursday night and I don't want to hear anything else about it!"

Although I cannot and will not go into the specific facts of what has transpired here is where I'm going with all of this.

I owe Heath, Hayden & his wife Donna and the rest of Heaths staff one of the biggest debt's of Gratitude ever known to modern man. These are our closest friends but they each went far beyond the boundary of just being a good friend! They each showed more human compassion in one minute of time than Charles Taylor or most anyone else in these parts could show in a life time!

All I can tell you for now is that Linda finally after months of having to wait will be in with her Doctor tomorrow afternoon at 2:15pm!  And Heath & Hayden made it happen for her! Now, It is all in Gods hands and prayers.

This is the type of man that Heath Shuler is! Not, the kind Chuck Taylor wants you to believe. It is totally my Honor to know and be associated with him and with Hayden. I am proud of them and proud of myself for choosing them as friends! You wanted to know what type of person Heath Shuler is, well now you know!

Heath was on News 13 Friday from Asheville with John Edwards and I think Linda said it all for us. Heath made the statement of needing affordable health care for everyone. Well Linda, with her voice breaking said, "Heath is the only one out here who cares." When I turned to look at her she had her right hand in a fist and raised up and tears were streaming down her cheek.  I think that says it all!

I will keep all of you updated on her condition.

Originally posted to Anglico on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 07:39 AM PDT.

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