Archive for November, 2009

Well, back to work after five days at home.  I truly enjoyed my time off, entertaining my family for the holiday and watching Husker Football. However, by Sunday afternoon, I have to tell you I was looking forward to the office door, the messy desk, the phone ringing, and I welcomed a cyber mailbox full of notes and messages.  Ahh, the welcome of office routine.  Getting down to business at hand, responding to mail both snail and cyber forms!  I have to tell you as much as I like the holidays and the joy of family life, likewise, I truly like my job and those that I work with on a day-to-day basis and across the state. 

Today I even enjoyed looking at the bills and reviewing the budget. I know hard to believe but true!  Well we are six months into our budget and so far so good – knock on wood!  I have worked harder this year than any other year to raise money but I have to tell you it has been rewarding and it is paying off.  Also, I want to tell you I have not had to do it alone.  That is the best news and again why I am so glad to be back at work.  MADD is one BIG family and that is something I can hang my hat on.  Speaking of our MADD family I have pictures to share of a very important event and I will share those later this week.  We can all stand proud of MADD Nebraska and the many fine leaders on the Nebraska State Operations Council.  Another reason to come to work!

Sitting 400 miles away a press release came across my e-mail but this one was not the usual news. No. It was news that even a veteran victim advocate was touched by and sadness filled my heart for the community, school and family.  As I read the news release, 2 sisters, 17 & 15, in Box Butte County were driving to school when they were hit by a pick-up truck.  Both sisters died at the scene.It is difficult to imagine the magnitude of pain associated with the traumatic death of not one but two loved ones.  For many grief is unchartered territory and can be very unsettling. Here at MADD we know one of the hardest parts of grief is the apparent “Senselessness of the Death.”  People generally understand that death occurs when bodies grow old or are no longer able to fight disease.  Knowing that your child was just on their way to school doing what every other child is doing – well that is one of the most painful aspects of your grieving. 

 Now the world, as you knew it, is forever changed when someone experiences a traumatic and unexpected death.  There was no time to say good-by. However painful and difficult, grieving is necessary to heal and to find new meaning in life.

As we face those challenges here are a few coping tips:                                                                

  •  Tell your story over and over again
  • Get support from a counselor, school counselor, support group or a trained MADD advocatehttp://www.madd.org/Victim-Services.aspx
  • Write about your experience in a journal
  • Seek information about your loved one’s crash, to answer those unanswered questions
  • Understand that everyone grieves differently, and be especially sensitive to family members who may be grieving differently than you
  • Reinvest in life by reaching out to others

    Share your life with others

     

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director

There are a variety of items that come across the wires that seem unbelievable.  Drunk driving not only does not discriminate – the crime takes place in a multitude of forms.

However, sadly today I read about a drunk driving conviction in Buffalo County  where a young man, more than twice the legal limit, was stopped while dragging a horse behind a stock trailer near Sumner.  The offender, Troy Brockmann, 22, left the rodeo July 4th. Brockman failed to untie the horse, then made the choice to drink and drive and eventually he was apprehended and arrested. 

 http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/article_c33f58ba-c986-11de-92eb-001cc4c03286.html

CB017213

Tyler Brockman pleaded no contest to DUI

 Brockman was stopped after dragging the horse for about a mile. The horse was then put into the trailer.  The horse was found dead July 6th in Phelps’ County.

As a victim advocate for our members across the state, we support victims and ensure they understand how to provide their victim impact statement to Horse%20Grazingthe courts so the victim’s voice is heard.  However, with this how will we all ensure that what happened to this horse, as a result of being dragged behind a vehicle while the offender drove well over the legal limit, is voiced for the victim (the horse). In this case a dead horse.

We should all take time to send in our victim impact statement http://www.madd.org/Files/Victim-Impact-Statement-Workbook.aspxto Dawson County Court http://www.dawsoncountyne.net/offices/index.html where there is a felony charge of cruel neglect of an animal resulting in death – pending.

We may not have been impacted personally by this event but we have a duty to ensure the offender is held accountable for his actions.  Speaking out is the right thing to do – if we don’t who will?  Drunk drivers must be held accountable.  For the horse  -voice your concern.

 Letter To The Editor From MADD Nebraska

LettersToTheEditor1_0It was disappointing to read Mr. Rex Alberts comments in the Kearney Hub demonizing MADD http://www.kearneyhub.com/search/?q=MADD&t=article&l=10&d=&d1=&d2=&s=start_time&sd=desc&f=html

I have been the Executive Director of MADD Nebraska for 10 years. I can assure you I was not impacted by drunk driving when I sought the job; rather I have a Masters Degree in Public Health, from the Teachers’ College, at UNL.

Additionally, I can assure you drunk driving does not discriminate and we have as many males as we do have females involved in our organization statewide http://www.maddnebraska.org/about/state_operations_council

The Legislature is heavily male dominated and senators continually listen to the concerns of their constituents.  Drunk driving is unacceptable and 100% preventable.

In 2008, in Nebraska there were 208 fatal car crashes of which 67 (32%) were a result of an alcohol-related crash.  As Nebraskans, we can all stand proud that we have saved lives and communities across the state are making a difference daily.

Last year alone, MADD Nebraska sent out more than 1,200 ”We Care” cards to those impacted by drunk driving, went to court over 30 times on behalf of those injured or killed and MADD provided direct service to more than 300 victims impacted by this crime.

 On behalf of MADD and our members across the state, I want to thank our citizens for making the right choice: designate a sober driver & never serve to those under 21.

MADD’s Mission is: to stop drunk driving support victims impacted by this crime and prevent underage drinking. 

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director

MADD Nebraska

http://www.maddnebraska.org