Life is full of surprises. Sometimes we do not want to hear it, other times we are just happy to know it.

This past month was chock full of milestones. The most heartbreaking one was the seventh anniversary of 9/11 that was solemnly remembered with prayers, reverence and patriotic memories for the victims and their families.

Things will never be the same since our nation survived that horrific Twin Towers and Pentagon experience of 2001.

Last month was National August Immunization Month to remind us that we should not become complacent about vaccinations. I speak of children, adolescents and adults. Let us not forget the 1960s and the deaths that were caused by the lack of immunization of preventable diseases.

Contact your local health clinic and find out more about immunizations. If anything, look into the adult booster for tetanus; be informed about the Hepatitis A and B, along with the shingles for those 60 years and older.

Find out for your family's health what the status is of all your family members' vaccinations. Take preventive actions while you have your good health in order to keep it.

Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Sept. 15 was the Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Chile celebrated on Sept. 18 and Mexico on Sept. 16, thus "Diez y Seis de Septiembre."

Today the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population of Hispanic Americans at 45.5 million. That is why there are so many contributions to our great nation by our Hispanic people that need to be celebrated and known.

Check out or to find out more.

We in the Coastal Bend population area were lucky again when Hurricane Ike passed us by, although it left turmoil and destruction in the Galveston area. There were some costly lessons learned from the federal handling of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in Louisiana.

Yet, our fellow citizens need our help because of damages caused by Ike.

Robstown and Corpus Christi are among those that have sent donations to help those in their time of need. Let us keep in mind that sometimes we do not have to look far to lend a helping hand.

There is probably a friend or relative or a friend of a relative whom you know that needs some help because of the hurricane. Let us make a firm commitment to help those we know if we do not have the extra cash to send money.

Helping with the solution can be as easy as a baby shower for the victim's family or a barbecue plate sale with the help of friends and relatives.

I heard from my wife and some of her friends and relatives that they are planning some activities to raise funds.

Let us not forget how resourceful we are and how good we are at survival.

Helping our fellow Americans in times of crisis sometimes becomes urgent during times of need.

Joe-Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at