Good News About Good Americans #2

Marine Corps veteran and eleven-year Utah sanitation worker, Don Gardner, recently displayed his continuing pride in America.  On his regular route, he came upon a crumpled American flag that had been tossed into a curbside garbage can.  After spotting the flag, Mr. Gardner retrieved it and took the time to fold that flag properly.  Said he: “I took an oath once to defend this country and our flag, and I still do.  A lot of people died protecting that flag and fighting under that flag. A lot of blood’s been shed so that we have the freedoms we have today.  Admitting that over the years, he had pulled probably 12 flags from garbage cans, he responded: “It makes me mad.  I get angry.  Sometimes it’s a mistake.  Most of the time, it’s on purpose. I have a problem with that, so I just take it out, and take care of it.”  Great patriotic gesture by a genuine American patriot.  Thanks for all you’ve done, and continue to do, for our great nation, Mr. Gardner.

Out on patrol, Atlanta SWAT Team Officer Robert Oden began following a vehicle with flashing hazard lights and a honking horn. Pulling into a fire station, the female driver approached Officer Oden cradling her baby who had stopped breathing.  Oden checked for a pulse, called for medical assistance, and began doing CPR on this four-month-old child.  As the on-line picture accompanying the story showed, the officer was doing repetitive, and tender, chest compressions using the first two fingers on his right hand.  Thankfully, by the time the ambulance arrived, the child “began to cough and move his legs.” Officer Oden had saved that baby’s life.  Another example of the great work our law enforcement personnel contribute to our communities every day.  We must continue to fund, never de-fund, our police!

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a Sheriff’s Department Officer was on his way to an accident, when he, himself, wound up in an accident, significant enough so that his police car actually completely overturned on the wet pavement. Trapped within his vehicle, several ‘good Samaritan’ civilians were quickly able to get the office out of his vehicle.  Suffering minor injuries, the officer was transported to an area hospital, and was expected to be back at work soon.  Said one observer: “Looks like he definitely had Angels around him.”  Reversing the normal response involvement, thanks to those near-by civilians who, this time, were able to come to the aid of a law enforcement officer, their fellow citizen.

Ms. Sophia Furtado, a 26-year-old DoorDash driver in Massachusetts, was making a routine evening residential delivery.  As she pulled into the home’s driveway, she right away noticed resident 55-year-old Caryn Sullivan “lying there unconscious with a pool of blood around her head.” She immediately summoned the woman’s husband from the home, called for medical response, used towels to stop the bleeding, and “stabilized (Mrs. Sullivan’s) neck until paramedics arrived.” Ms. Furtado is credited with saving the woman’s life by preventing her from bleeding out, as it was apparent that the woman had been lying there bleeding for several minutes.  At a subsequent awards ceremony for Ms. Furtado, Mrs. Sullivan termed the DoorDash driver “her guardian angel,” feeling certain that “she most likely wouldn’t have made it if she didn’t come.”  Understandably, the two women have become friends.

Merrill Pittman Cooper, a 101-year-old West Virginian, recently received his high school diploma 80-years after having to drop out of school when financial circumstances caused his single mother to have to move the family away.  Decades later, Mr. Cooper, expressed to his family his lingering regret that he had never received his diploma.  Family members, friends, and officials with the Jefferson County Schools in West Virginia worked diligently, over many months, to turn his regret into a reality.  Said Mr. Cooper, now a 101-year-old high school graduate: “I can’t think of a happier day.”

And speaking of educational achievement, this time at the opposite end of the age spectrum, 13-year-old Elliott Tanner, from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, graduated on May 12th from COLLEGE (!), with a 3.78 GPA, completing a major in physics and a minor in math.  He has already been accepted into a Physics PhD program at the University of Minnesota, where he was an undergrad student, doing research (on top of classes) and also finding time and expertise to tutor fellow students.  Elliott hopes to become “a high energy theoretical physicist and eventually a professor of physics at the university.” Considered to be “profoundly gifted” (no kidding!!), following several years of homeschooling “and a high school curriculum he completed in two years,” he began with his college courses at age 9.  We wish Minnesota’s Elliott Tanner all the best as he now enters his doctoral program and continues to impress everyone around him.  He could well have his university PhD at the same age (or sooner) as more normal students just entering college as freshmen!!

Finally for this edition, some good news for Floridians on the health front. Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an important bill into law, termed “The No Patient Left Alone Act.”  This key family rights measure allows in-person family member visits with ‘loved ones’ in hospitals or other such facilities.  You’ll recall that such was not permitted at all nationally during the agonizing COVID crisis, resulting in patients being treated, and regrettably even passing away, without next of kin being able to be with them, a devastating situation for a great many Americans.  This new law allows for in-person patient visitations in “long-term care facilities, hospices, and hospitals” with no proof of vaccine status required.  Said the Governor: “I think when you look back over the past two years, one of the most heartbreaking elements of this was shutting people out of being with their loved ones at really critical times in their lives.”  Thinking about his own wife’s recent cancer treatments, DeSantis responded: “Isolating people is not healthy. Facilitating the connections that really make life worth living is something that is very important.”  Another very positive step forward into, not restrictions, but welcome reality, for the residents of Florida.


(Utah worker takes care of our flag quote via, Nick Gilbertson, 5-13-22; SWAT officer saves baby’s life via, Paul Farrell, 5-13-22; Oklahoma sheriff’s deputy aided by civilians info & quote via, Amy Furr, 4-25-22; Massachusetts delivery driver info & quote via, Lillian Gissen, 5-6-22; 101-year-old H.S. graduate info & quote via, Nick Gilbertson, 3-27-22;   Elliott Tanner heads on to earn his PhD info & quotes via, AP & Matt McNulty, 4-23-22; Florida’s new patient rights law via,  Jannis Falkenstern, 4-7-22).