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!