Friday, November 11, 2011

Rerun: This Veteran's Day

I run this every Veteran's Day and Memorial Day:

This Veterans Day:

Our men and women are returning from two wars. They have witnessed things and felt things that those of us who stayed home have no clue. Their brains have been overwhelmed, their psychic beings shaken to the core.

This Veterans Day:

Our soldiers may leave the battlefield, but they cannot leave their memories there. Very high percentages are returning home with PTSD, depression, and other mental illnesses. Even those without full-blown symptoms have issues to deal with. Others are ticking time bombs. Suicide will claim more of them than enemy gunfire. Many will attempt to cope by turning to alcohol and drugs.

This Veterans Day:

Many brave men and women have no clue what is about to happen to them. They served as heroes, but, like many who served in Vietnam, may wind up homeless. They may be remembered for their bravery, but we will cross the street to avoid them.

This Veterans Day:

It's not just about flags on graves. It's about serving the people who served our country.

This Veterans Day:

Resolve to do something tangible. Advocate. Donate. Get involved with one of the veteran's organizations. Get involved with a mental health group making an outreach to veterans. Do something. Then keep doing it.

This Veterans Day:

It's our turn now.


From Therese Borchard's Beyond Blue:
  • Almost one in three veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq confront mental health problems.
  • On an average day in this country, suicide claims another 18 veterans.
  • Approximately 30 percent of veterans treated in the veterans health system suffer from depressive symptoms, two to three times the rate of the general population.
  • More Vietnam veterans have now died from suicide than were killed directly during the war.
  • Approximately 40 percent of homeless veterans have mental illnesses.

1 comment:

Smitty said...

I thank you for sharing this, each year. It is an important part of the mental health picture.

My family were refugees in World War II. My father was a civilian who served and went to school on the G.I. Bill. My husband's family felt the repercussions of his dad's fighting on Iwo Jima. Chuck survived. He supported my own family's mental health by supporting my husband decision to join the Peace Corps. Failing that, my father-in-law would have encouraged his son to go to Canada.