My DVR has become a good friend. I just watched Lisa Ling's "Our America" on OWN. This program was about our returning servicemen/woman ( I will say say men from now on and wives, because that is what the biggest percent is. I do know our female soldiers are just as affected.) from various war fronts, affected by PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder This was a one week program to reach these men at their core. To give them some tools to release their demons. To teach these couples how to be partners again.
Veteran's Day is Friday. More and more I think about the families of these soldiers.
I learned that 18 ( I think that was the number) veterans/soldiers commit suicide everyday. Everyday! We have lost more returning soldiers to suicide than in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan together. This breaks my heart.
I wanted to say Thank You for your service to the spouses of these soldiers and Marines. ( Marines do not call themselves soldiers. They are Marines. They are also never a "former" Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Can you tell I live in a Marine town?) So when I say soldiers, yes my Marine friends, I know who you are.
We know so much more than we did years ago when the soldiers of my generation were returning from Vietnam. These men are still feeling the affects of their war. That's not even getting into the politics they faced coming home from a war most were drafted into entering. Our military today volunteered to put themselves in harm's way. Their spouses volunteered to support them. How selfless is that? The result is still the same. These soldiers experienced sights, did things, and felt things, that even with the best of training, years later, they are still trying to digest.
Vietnam Memorial close to "The Wall"
I heard one wife explain it so well. She said the wives were in the "kill zone", of the fallout, of their husband's experiences. At best, their loved one came home well, and does not suffer from PTSD. While their husbands were deployed, these women have been the Mother and the Father, the disciplinarian, the chauffeur, the accountant, and in most cases, held down a job of their own, as well. They have lived in two completely different worlds for 6 months, 9 months, or a year. Becoming a couple again can be difficult, if both are used to giving the orders and having them carried out. One soldier told his wife "You are as much of a soldier as I was." Isn't that true?
My heart, my respect and my gratitude belongs with these men and women. They have both serviced and are still serving this country.