Pilot Editorial

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Bits & Pieces

Storm Lake gave a true hero's welcome to its returning Guard members, and while they weren't waging war in Iraq, they deserve all the credit in the world for sacrificing of their own lives to answer the call for homeland protection.

Imagine, being asked to leave your home and family behind for a solid year, going to an unknown location, putting your studies or career completely on hold.

How many of us would do it, without complaint or question?

It was a fine day in Storm Lake, and communities around the region, as our soldiers came home. The parades, the welcome meals, the speeches were all well deserved. But what should touch us about those homecomings is the big men kneeling down to hug giddy children they haven't seen in months. Running to embrace wives, girlfriends, parents.

The families sacrificed in this war, too.

And you aren't truly home until you get that hug.

The Buena Vista Regional Medical Center has named its new Center for Women after the Schaller family, and it is a suitable honor.

The storied Storm Lake banking family has a history of challenge gifts - not only providing the funds for some of the city's most important advances, but doing so in a way that motivates the community to buy in as well, and making us all stronger in the process.

Marcia Schaller served long and well on the hospital board of trustees, and helped to put the groundwork in place for the development.

The Center for Women will further make Storm Lake's reputation as a health care hub, but most importantly, it will treat and educate families better than ever before. It is an exciting development for us all, and the Schaller family's spirit of giving is a fine connection with the mission of this new facility.

Storm Lake bid goodbye this week to Hector Velez, and he will be missed. As the city's first elected council member of Hispanic descent, he helped to prove the adage that people are more alike than they are different. Always outspoken, always willing to serve as a sort of bridge between old and new segments of our community, Hector was more than a small part of the evolution that helped to earn Storm Lake a second nickname, "The World's Hometown." His efforts will pay dividends in understanding long after he's left us.