The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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Virgin Atlantic Lounge Denies Us Entry

 Click for videoAll of us have experienced it. An airline employee more robotic then human. We have all seen the videos of late. A man dragged down the aisle, a mother and her child sideswiped by a stroller. These have us all up in arms. We think we have seen it all and then there's more.

 Watch Video Here:

My service dog Blue Belle and I were denied entry to the JFK Virgin Atlantic lounge due to their 'policy' and the 'possible discomfort of others'. Three employees stood behind the counter, not just one uninformed employee. This lounge is not a luxury for me, flying in a lay-flat seat is not a luxury but a financial burden and a necessity. My condition is Arachnoiditis and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome of the spine. I am also in a wheelchair so every step of a travel plan must be carefully laid out with crossed and dotted eyes. I read every policy, I compare it with ADA laws and regulations. I call customer service and speak to human beings to make and confirm our (mine and Blue Belle's) travel arrangements. Blue Belle wears her vest clearly marked with 6"x2" panels that say SERVICE DOG. I carry her vaccination papers with me at all times as well as pay the extra $75 to be in the airline's lounge for even one hour because sitting for any extended period of time (which can mean 20 minutes if I am in a flare) can send me to the hospital with spinal contractions with levels on the McGill Pain Scale above childbirth or phantom limb. If I am not already in a flair, this can send me into one. Stress can also be a contributing factor to this. I am not telling you these things for a pity party, it is simply the reality of millions of forgotten or dismissed individuals others shy away from from it takes too much energy to see.

I am not jumping on a bandwagon. I have simply experienced these excruciating episodes while traveling one too many times. You might call it death by a thousand cuts. This is my story from last night - one I am physically unable to hold within and hope it can somehow spark a change in how airlines and corporations train (or in this case, don't train) their employees as to the federal laws mandated specifically to protect the disabled.


I hope my experience opens this conversation much needed between the airlines and the ADA community.




Micaela Bensko

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