Fifteen years ago, one of my grandfathers died. He'd spent 20+ years in the air force and another 20+ years as a civilian working for the air force so the Veterans Administration was to provide a small marker for his plot. Unfortunately, at the time of his death the VA was backed up and was taking several--I don't remember how many, but certainly a lot more than a few!--months to provide headstones. This, of course, gave nana an opportunity to be dramatic and to complain about his being in "an unmarked grave".
Our local congressman was Democrat Vic Fazio, whom grandpa, a Republican, referred to as "Fazio the Wop". In earlier days, I guess, you called it like you saw it, without all the need for eggshell-walking political correctness. Anyway, I wrote Congressman Fazio and explained the situation, asking if there was anything he could do. A staffer contacted me periodically, kept me informed, and within a couple weeks notified me that a marker was on the way. I got the impression that grandpa wasn't just moved to the front of the line, but that a fire had been lit under the appropriate section of the VA.
Upon getting that news I penned another letter to the congressman, thanking him for his efforts on nana and grandpa's behalf. The staffer contacted me again solely to tell me thanks for sending a thank you, as entirely too many constituents ask for help and after receiving it, are never heard from again.
I joked with nana that grandpa would be spinning in his grave if he knew I'd asked Congressman Fazio for anything, especially something for him!
That's a fairly long lead-in to this story. My other grandfather turns 100 in a few weeks. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, but I suddenly thought to ask the White House for greetings from the president. I looked it up and found they do that for people who are 80 or above (yeah, grandpa beats that one!), but that they're months behind schedule. Additionally, the best way to solicit a greeting is to have a senator or congressman make the request.
So tonight I contacted my senators, both Democrats, and my congressman (not my grandfather's, though, I don't think), a Republican, and made the request on grandpa's behalf. The senators also offer greeting letters, so I requested theirs as well as one from the White House. I'm pretty sure that grandpa hasn't cast too many votes for Democrats, but that doesn't change the impact of getting greetings from the White House.
We'll see if the politicos come through.