Where were you while they lived?
May 25, 2019
While commercials flood our favorite TV shows for products we can buy cheaper than normal...because it is Memorial Day, stores advertise products for cookouts with the unofficial kick off of summer, and they are having a sales, all of us need to remember what this is actually all about.
It is Memorial Day weekend. It is the one time of the year that the dead are supposed to be honored and remembered. The question is, where were you when they lived?
The news is pretty bleak for them, but we do not seem too willing to do anything about any of it.
Suicides are up in all the services. The headlines say "at a ten year high" because it was about 10 years ago they started to track them.
The first yearly suicide report was for 2008.
There were a total of 268 Service Member suicides in CY 2008, including cases pending final determination but strongly suspected to be suicides (Army = 140; Air Force = 45; Navy = 41; Marine Corps = 42).While the number of enlisted went down, the number of suicides went up. As of the third quarter of 2018, the Department of Defense reports that 231 active duty and 144 Reserve Components (National Guard and Reservists) committed suicide....but we do not force anyone to account for any of this or change what they are doing, instead of pushing failed programs.
Suicides in the veterans community also went up. Sure, on the surface it may seem as if it has all remained simply steady since 1999, but when you look at the percentages, you see a rise because the population of veterans has declined.
Some people I know seem to care more about POTUS getting his wall than they care about military families living in squalor.
How can we as a Nation, supposedly valuing those provide the defense of this nation, remain oblivious to everything that is happening to them?
Every night I go to bed knowing I did the best I could to help veterans. Every night I also know what it is like to do something for the right reason, and find little...or no support. After the last time I asked for help, received less than ten people willing to help me, I gave up asking. I am not asking now, and will probably never ask again.
As much as I understand about PTSD, I also know what it is like for veterans to spend their days wondering when they will finally get the help they need to stay alive!
This is what happens to veterans all over the country. They are the last ones to ask for help from anyone. When they finally understand they deserve the help and bring themselves to seek it, all too often, they do not find any.
Ever wonder what it is like for them to read about another veteran, just like them, taking their own lives? First family and friends probably let them down. Then the government. Then the people getting the most attention marketing their own best interests while publicizing suicides...having fun with stunts.
Still they try until they ask for help for the last time, and then decide it is time for them to raise awareness the only way they can think of. They go to a public place, usually a VA facility and put themselves to death so that no one can ignore it.
Why? They gave up on themselves but wanted to make sure that they did what they could so that no other veteran would feel the way they did...abandoned.
Missing in America Project spends their days going to funeral homes search for the remains of veterans to make sure they get a proper military funeral and laid to rest with honor. We did not help them live their lives with honor and dignity. We abandoned them.
Everyone feels terrible when it happens, but it is too late to do the veteran any justice. Too late to help them find the healing they sought, the understanding they needed to support them, or the compassion they needed to give them back hope.
The only way we can do something that will actually honor them is to do whatever we can, everyday, to make sure they are treated as honored members of this Nation.
Stop falling for the noise! Politicians say that sending disabled veterans into the same healthcare system citizens suffer with is a good thing. Make them fix the VA so that it works for those who prepaid the price of their healthcare WHEN THEY BECAME DISABLED VETERANS.
They write bills that are repeats of what failed because they ask the same questions, to the same people and get the same answers. We see funerals that did not need to happen and families fall apart.
Want to know that you did something while they lived? Then make sure you spend the time to actually do it.