I debated on whether to blog about this subject but it's something I feel passionate about and I'd be annoyed with myself if I didn't. I apologize if this post is long but I don't apologize for the content.
I noticed out in blogland (at least the types of blogs I read) that only one or two posted about it being Veteran's day on Friday yet everyone blogs about all the other holidays. I am not talking about people who blog here and there but people who blog on a regular basis. Has acknowledging Veteran's day become a taboo subject? Is it now not politically correct to thank a Veteran? I surely hope not. It bothered me a little to read my blog roll on Friday and just see those few acknowledge the day for what it really was..it's not just a random day that there is no mail..it's not another day for stores to up their sales or a day off of work for some people. It's a day to honor those who have selflessly (no matter what reason a person has for signing up for the military it is a selfless act) pretty much signed their life away. I think America, especially the younger generations take these selfless people for granted and just kind of forget about them. I think America has forgotten we still have a war going on. I am ecstatic of the Iraq pullout going on as I type this, I can't even tell you how much. I stand on the fence as far as what I feel about war (and I think each war is different) but I 100% support the US military. Tonight I watched a documentary and it was Soldiers from the Iraq war that had been wounded, talking about their experience. One Marine, missing an arm was out in public and someone asked him what happened to his arm and the Marine told him and the guy asked 'Oh is that still going on?" I can not fathom being so ignorant of not only what is going on in the world but what my country is involved in. How ignorant, selfish and disgusting that man's response was to a US Marine.
I guess the point of this post is that America is forgetting what these people give up...some giving up their lives. I think their efforts are being taken for granted. I believe that America, and our government is failing our military. Our country is not taking care of our Veterans and I believe that this is has been happening through out the past few wars. Go to the main place in your city where homeless 'hang out' and see just how many are U.S. Veterans. We are failing our Soldiers who come back with out an arm, without two legs...the high number of Veterans who come back with PTSD that go unnoticed...the Soldiers who silently and not so silently deal with the horrors of war who eventually take their lives.
Something that really tugs at my heart strings is being out in public and seeing a Veteran missing a leg or an arm, etc. About a month ago I saw who I am pretty sure was a homeless Veteran (I have a keen eye for spotting soldiers out of uniform for some reason) of one of the present wars (he looked to be in his 30's) who was missing a leg. I had to do all I could not to tear up. This is appalling.
I am married to a four time, possibly five time war Veteran. So it's hard for me to really grasp how Americans are forgetting there's still a war going on because I am reminded of it every day. My husband has been fortunate that even though he's been deployed four times that he doesn't suffer from any physical injuries and the PTSD isn't nearly as bad as some Soldiers. I do believe that everyone that goes to war and sees horrible things has some level of PTSD. If one went through what they do (and I believe some go through a lot worse of things than others) and didn't have PTSD then something is not right in the first place. Our government needs to step up and take care of our Veterans. I have read countless books and seen many documentaries and heard personal stories of Veterans not receiving the care that they deserve. Our government wants to send our military to countless wars but they aren't wanting to take care of them at the end of the day. My husband is getting kicked out of the military in a little over a year..why? Because even though he will have been in the military for 13+ years, been deployed five times he hasn't been promoted high enough that the Army feels he should be. A lot of that is because there's only so many slots for each rank and you can only do so much with that. Honestly this tears at my heart. I can not even imagine giving up so much of my life and doing what he has to only be told "Sorry, you're no longer good enough for us". So in a year or so he will join the ranks of all the other unemployed, he will be just like them except he has done more for our country than some people who get far more benefits from this country than he will probably ever see in his life, yes, I just went there. The only that will set him apart from those standing in the unemployed line is that he is eligible to buy a house (which isn't that hard now is it?) and he will have a few years of college paid for (which again isn't that hard to attain) and that will be it. He had plans of retiring in the military and he came so close to it...and all for what? At the end to be kicked out.
If you read all that I thank you, truly. At the end of the day...I just ask that you don't forget..no matter what your political stance is, these are human beings that have given up so much. And if you want to do more even if you feel it's a little bit I can steer you in to the right direction even if it's just writing to a deployed soldier or sending them a couple of books or even just writing them a postcard and saying Thank you. And if I lost some readers because this was too intense or not what they want to read then..don't let the armored door hit you on the way out.