Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Harsh Realities

Being a military family we often deal with some pretty harsh realities. Realities like deployments, the fact that people can get hurt, may not come back the same, or may not come back at all. One of the harshest realities is the one where our sacrifices and and sacrifices of our serving spouses just don't seem to mean very much to the country at large. There are parades and commercials for the Wounded Warrior Project, but the every day dealing with PTSD and coming back changed from war is largely dismissed.

This week 2 soldiers that my husband has served with took their own lives. In recent years the numbers for suicides in the military outnumbered the combat deaths. That should be shocking to people, especially to those people who feel that the military as a whole is over-compensated for what they do. (That is a whole other subject which I will address at a later date.)  Our soldiers and veterans feel as thought they have so little support, help, guidance, that they are taking their own lives. One of the soldiers said that "he just didn't feel like he mattered". How incredibly sad is that. He put is life on the line, defending our freedom and all that our country stands for and he felt his life didn't matter?  Of course it mattered, what bothers me is that this country isn't showing that to our troops and their families. Instead we hear constantly that we have too many benefits, that only lazy people who couldn't find a job or get into college serve in the military.  Aside from being degrading, it just simply isn't true.

I am sad for the 2 soldiers who took their lives, I am sad for their families, I am sad for the men and women those soldiers worked with, but mostly I am scared. I am scared because of the frightening trend that can be seen in the sheer multitude of soldiers and veterans who see suicide as their only escape. I want better for them, I want better for my own soldier. We owe them so much more than that!

1 comment:

desertskyquilts said...

Well said, Melissa! People think because we hand out a few quilts and have commercials about Wounded Warriors and other groups that things are better for soldiers today than they were in the Vietnam era. What I've been hearing lately makes this positively untrue. We may not be spitting on the soldiers, but we are still sweeping them under the rug. I have been appalled at the horrible injuries that the military has just released the soldier from duty, and medical costs are no longer covered. That, to me, is unconscionable. It's as bad as the English soldiers back from Napoleonic wars and turned loose to beg in the streets! Have we not come any distance at all in understanding our responsibility to our soldiers and sailors and others who serve? I can't understand anyone thinking the military is over paid or over compensated for their service! They ought to try raising a family with the benefits of the military. Ha!