Monday, November 12, 2012

Where Honor Is Due

I love Veterans Day! I actually think every day should be VD.
I spent 4 years in the Air Force. Even though my tour was life-changing, I believe my impact on my country was minimal. I was in public affairs and never deployed to a combat zone.
I offered 4 years of my life to my country ... which I would recommend for just about anyone. But I know people who have sacrificed much more and truly deserve the gratitude and honor that comes with today's holiday.
During my psych rotation in nursing school I had the privilege of working with a young vet who came back from Iraq with PTSD and was an inpatient at the VA for substance abuse - a very common scene. He was younger than I was and had suffered so much. I spent over an hour talking to him about his issues and transition. Before I left he gave me his Iraqi War Veteran cap. I wear it on VD in his honor and other days to remind me of his sacrifice.
I don't know where or how he is now but I know that the number of vets coming back from combat zones with PTSD is huge and the number of inpatient rehabs is minuscule with long waiting lists. I also know that older vets still suffer from experiences in combat. I don't care what your views on war is but the facts are that people are losing their body parts, their families, their minds and their lives for you.
Today ... and every day ... thank a vet and pray for them.

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