LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Remote Area Medical seems to meet a great need

Douglas Rodenbeck is a former Fort Wayne resident living in Knoxville, Tenn.

Can you imagine waiting in line all night in a park in freezing rain for a chance to get an appointment to get a tooth fixed that’s been infected for a year?

According to WBIR-TV, that was the reality for one woman at the Remote Area Medical (R.A.M.) mission going on in Knoxville, Tenn., as I write this. Over five days, they will provide free services to 2,500 who have no other options.

R.A.M. sets up in a fairgrounds building, and people start lining up the day before. At 3 a.m., they start handing out tickets for appointments that start at 6 a.m.

It snowed here last night. The woman I spoke of waited 17 hours. People come from areas other than Knoxville. One woman drove from Columbia, Mo.

The volunteers have come from 30 states. They work tirelessly filling a tremendous amount of need. After 30 years, this is the 900th mission.

I have no connection to this. I just see it and can’t turn away. What happens to those who don’t get an appointment? I don’t know.

Check out Remote Area Medical. If you want something really worth supporting in some way, it’s calling your name. How desperate would you have to be to wait all night in the cold in flu season for an appointment?

Douglas Rodenbeck

Former Fort Wayne resident who now lives in Knoxville, Tenn.