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Conversation Starters for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

By Congressman Markwayne Mullin

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Muskogee, November 20, 2018 | comments

This week, families will come together from near and far to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and plenty of pie.  While we are surrounded by loved ones at the Thanksgiving dinner table, there are countless nonpartisan causes—aside from the taboo dinner table topic of politics—worthy of our time and thought. 

November is National Adoption Month.  There are 585 children in Oklahoma in need of a permanent home this holiday season and another 8,314 children who are currently in the care of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. 

November is National Native American Heritage Month.  Native Americans have a unique opportunity to educate their children and fellow Americans about the legacy and hardships Native Americans have overcome.  As a proud member of the Cherokee Nation, I believe our heritage and traditions should be celebrated year round within our communities and across the nation.

November is National Alzheimer’s Month.  Every 65 seconds, an individual in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease and an estimated 64,000 Oklahomans over the age of 65 suffer from the disease.

November is National Entrepreneurship Month.  Entrepreneurs drive innovation in every field, create jobs, and contribute to our growing economy.  Support the entrepreneurs who opened their own small businesses, by visiting the mom-and-pop stores in your community on November 24th for Small Business Saturday.

November is National Pancreatic Cancer Month.  Pancreatic cancer is on track to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. around 2020.  Help raise awareness of the disease taking the lives of 55,440 Americans in 2018.

November is National Diabetes Month.  Did you know that 30.3 million, or 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes?  1 in every 4 people who have diabetes don’t even know they have it.

November is National Veterans and Military Families Month.  There are 303,205 veterans, 19,802 active duty members of the military, and 13,031 reserve members in Oklahoma.  Many of those individuals may not be spending Thanksgiving with their families this year.  Thank you to each and every one of them—and their families—for their service and sacrifice to our country.

There’s nothing like family.  This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to thank your uncle for his service to our nation.  Share your Native American heritage with your children.  Tell your cousin about your favorite small business in town.  Remember those who have lost a family member to disease or in the line of duty.  Consider growing your family through adoption.  Most importantly, give thanks for your family and enjoy the time spent with your loved ones this Thanksgiving.  From the Mullin family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

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