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By       Message Dale Hill     Permalink
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I was stunned, yesterday, when Wolfe Blitzer had an interview with former Surgeon General, Admiral Richard H. Camona. Shoot me with a tazer and give me 15 minutes of pain, please! Believe this. Proof that Bush is the absolute “scum of the Republicans,”  when ones life-history will be measured harshly. There is no questions now, how Bush will tip the scale, as the worst and most despicable president in the history of The US, even below foul-mouthed, criminal, ... Nixon. For the life of me, ... I cannot see how Laura puts up with her unscrupulous husband.

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Admiral Camona had an invitation to go to Vermont’s, or one of the northeast states', Special Olympics celebration. The attorney general submitted a request several times, with only rejections. Not on government time. One of his superiors had this to say.

Don't you know who is behind the Special Olympics? We cannot allow you to do that. Your duties are for this administration, which is Republican, scolded his superior.

Camona took time off, ... his own time, subsidized by himself, made the journey himself. There are few people who know any more about Special Olympics than I do. My first year as an elementary counselor, I was called and informed that I was to go and sponsor our school’s Special Olympics, at Edmond, Oklahoma.

Now, I had 2 young kids at home, and I really felt "underwhelmed" about this three day gig. In fact, you might have described my attitude as, Bush-like. Even some of the high school kids weren’t too happy. They thought it would leave a stain on their reputation. But on the way back, their attitude had made a 180 degree turn, ... and so had mine! The celebration had been breath-taking.

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Oklahoma’s Special Olympics stayed in Edmond one more year, and then it was moved to the beautiful and sprawling campus of Oklahoma State University. As the rules go, there has to be one man sponsor for every 8 male students, and our sponsors and students were blown away by a move of about 60 miles. It was awesome. OSU has swimming pools and tennis courts! They stayed in air conditioned comfort in the huge student housing complex.

As our own, four kids grew up, they even were excited about Special Olympics, and we took them to district play-offs; and they became huggers and were assigned their own student, who they were responsible for. The experiences were good for our kids, because, only by luck or God, they weren’t born with significant special needs. In fact, our youngest, who never attended Special Olympics, was included in our Special Education Program, though, with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), through all of her school experience, except that she was mainstreamed her junior and senior year. She has a complex Learning Disability with which she battles every day, though her IQ is well above average.

At Oklahoma State Special Olympics, we usually had between 3 or 4 thousand members who were entered in different competitions. With sponsors, they counted nearly double that. The sponsors had to make sure each child would get to their competition on time and get them asleep on time. Complex. A CHORE! My last three or four years of teaching, I was not asked to sponsor, because they realized that I had physical problems and could no longer bi-ped the miles of walking to keep up with our kids. In fact, for the last 5 years, I made it my duty to bring a “pow-wow” chair and hang out at our camp so the students could check in and make sure they were going in the right directions. Much of their free time was spent at "Olympic Village," where they petted goats and sheep, had their faces painted, listened to concerts, sang Karaoke ... . Incredible stuff, believe me.

Sponsors of the event ran the gambit from McDonalds, Coca Cola, and dozens of businesses who actually ran the competitions and handed out snacks. Not once did any Kennedy member show up at our event, but Barry Switzer did and does, every year, without doubt, ... even when he was the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Switzer IS Oklahoma Special Olympics' Honorary Coach every year. Maybe he can convince Toby Keith to go this next year, since they are good, millionaire friends. But, ... on to Bush and company.

Admiral Camona didn’t mention names, but he was told that he could not go to represent The White House, because “You know who runs that!”  How regurgitational! He was also required to mention Bush's name at least 3 times on every page of a speech. I can wrap my brains about that, but, ... Special Olympics!

Yes, the Kennedy’s started it, but now each state has their own events, and the Kennedy’s have very little to do with Special Olympics. The celebrations have grown, way beyond the Kennedy family’s first efforts.

Barry Switcher has several NCAA championship rings and even a NFL ring when Dallas won the Super Bowl. Special Education and Special Olympics have been two of the greatest programs for our challenged population, here in the great USA.

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About 8 years in, at OSU, I noticed a preacher who I knew, sitting in the stands. Hmm? I’ve never seen him before. I went up and sat down with him.

“This is the first time I have seen you here,”  I commented. “I am glad to see you here. Why are you here?”

“Well, Dale, you are right. This is my first time. You see, I have a Downs Syndrome son in junior high, and I have never set aside the time to go to The Olympics. From now on, I am Xing those dates out so I can be here with my son.”

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Is a 34 year retired educator with a Masters Degree in Counseling - a free-lance writer with articles in Spanish and English Guideposts, Mothering, Oklahoma Observer, Oklahoma Gazette, Westview, Oklahoma Reader, The Lookout, Christian Standard, (more...)

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