Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Remembering Our Heroes…and Their Pain
Today is one of the most revered days in our country’s year, Veterans Day. We honor those who have served and defended our nation from enemy forces; who’ve fought in far off lands, on the beaches of Normandy, the dense brush of Vietnam and in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.
I stand with many others today who salute those warriors, those still with us from as far back as WWII, hoping they realize how much their sacrifice means to those of us who’ve been fortunate never to experience war of any kind firsthand. Yes, I’m a Navy veteran but I never served in harm’s way and to me that makes a great difference compared to those who’ve seen friends die before their eyes, lost their sight, arms, legs or use of their body at all.
The trauma of such loss finally found a diagnosis in the form of PTSD. Who knows how many veterans from WWI and WWII lived through their remaining days never realizing what caused their anger, withdrawal or suicidal thoughts. It’s imperative, in light of their service and of PTSD, that we take time as often as possible to let them know we value them, not only as veterans but as people.
Today is one opportunity for us to thank those men and women. But, please, make it more than an annual event. If you see someone with a ball cap signifying them as a veteran or you attend an American Legion or other military function, take time to shake their hand and express your gratitude. You’ll never know the impact of your brief message to them.