Veterans Amongst Us

Many in my family… have served in the military…including my dad. 

I appreciate that we have set aside this day each year to honor and remember all of the veterans past and present. But, somehow, it doesn’t seem like quite enough.

Many military personnel are serving still.  The sacrifices they and their families make and the dangers they face need to be acknowledged and remembered. The fact that the suffering that continues for many, even after their service is behind them, is heartbreaking. 

Suicides and PTSD and non-fatal injuriesare haunting reminders that “normal” life doesn’t just resume following military service.

While we salute these people in uniform with gratitude, I can’t help but feel negligent …wondering what more we can/should be doing for those who are still silently battling the far reaching effects of war.

One of the men who accompanied us on a recent Grand Canyon river trip, celebrated on the final night that this was the first time he was able to enjoy nights outside in the wilderness without panic attacks since his duty in Vietnam decades ago. That hesitant confession and the life changing impact it revealed really struck home with me. This adventure was a deeper journey for him than it was for most of us….and too long in coming.

I search for ways to reach out on this day of remembrance…but find only flags and parades in commemoration. What more can we do to make the future brighter for people still suffering…before they become just a memory?