Saturday, November 28, 2020
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A Sacred Obligation at the Wise, Virginia Health Fair

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photo-25My title has multiple meanings.

Perhaps that will become clear.

How did you spend your weekend?

At 1:30 AM Thursday I got in my car and drove for about 6 hours through the night to the mountains of Southwest Virginia, which in the daylight are so heart-breakingly beautiful one almost forgets the poverty of so many therein.

photo-24I stopped briefly to check in to my hotel in Norton, then drove a few miles more, through Wise to the Wise County Fairgrounds for yet another "mission," this my 5th.

It was the 15th anniversary of the Wise Virginia Health fair, with dental services provided by the Missions of Mercy of the Virginia Dental Association's foundation and everything else provided by Remote Area Medical, founded by Stan Brock.

Officially the event began on Friday, but first we had to unload these two trucks and set up.  We had many students from the School of Dentistry at VCU, as well as from other colleges and universities.  I will talk some more about the students for whom this too was a sacred obligation, as it was for so many - of course the dentists volunteering under what became extremely difficult circumstances, and general volunteers, like yours truly.

Please keep reading.

Wise VA – it’s not Las Vegas

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but it is the reason I am not in Las Vegas.  I am here, in the Appalachian section of Virginia, in the Southwest, less than half an hour from the Kentucky border, for the 11th Annual Remote Area Medical / Mission of Mercy free medical and dental event.  I arrive shortly after noon, after a 6 hour drive from Arlington, and I will be here until late morning Sunday.  

I hope those of you at Netroots Nation, which is already underway, enjoy yourselves and find it worthwhile, as I have found my four previous bloggers' conventions useful and worthwhile.

For me, and I speak only for me, it is more important that I am here.  

And although we have barely begun, perhaps I can offer some sense of why I feel that way.  I invite you to keep reading.