Happy Memorial Day. Put down the beer for a moment.
Today is the moment to note how troubling it is that this nation treats its veterans pretty badly.
Approximately every 80 minutes, a US military veteran commits suicide in the United States; for Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers of veterans lost to suicide now outstrips casualty lists of those killed in action. …..[I]n the first half of 2012, almost one soldier a day took his or her own life. Both veterans and combat personnel have experienced a steep rise in suicide rates since 2005, which notably marked a sharp increase in the intensity of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is a public health crisis and an epidemic; veterans alone account for 20% of US suicides. …..Clearly, the measures the Department of Defense is using to cope with this problem are inadequate, and it’s time to think about how to approach suicide prevention for this particularly vulnerable population. — truthout
I’m not a veteran — with my lame eyesight I probably wouldn’t have passed a physical had I been drafted; coupled with my total clumsiness with mechanical devices this probably limited friendly fire injuries — but my father served in Europe, as did a number of my uncles. So other than deploring the obvious tragedy these numbers demonstrate — and suicide is far from the only bad outcome veterans confront — I generally keep my mouth shut about veterans’ issues. Ditto parenting, for much the same reason.
But when I want to read something insightful, sensitive, direct, and intelligent, I stop by here for a while. This is the venue of a veteran and parent of soldiers with much to offer, dues paid in full. I learn things. I get perspective.
Happy Memorial Day, Syrbal. Thinking of you. Thank you for your service — and for your ongoing service to us all.
Thanks. You may resume your BBQ.