“Memorial Day” is a solemn day when the nation rightfully honors those who have given the ultimate sacrifice with a wreath at the tomb of the “Unknown Soldier”. It is hard for many of us to ignore those known soldiers or warriors on street corners, under bridges, in alleys, or under those trees in parks and in some cases abandoned homes or homeless campgrounds. Many of these warriors hear voices no one else hears, see things no one else sees and smells as well as taste things in their minds that takes them to the scent of the smoke from those burning pits, the depleted uranium from the tank armor or bullets fired, no one else understands or appreciates those invisible moments that are so real they are fighting in their heads. Many have Bad Papers/Bad Conduct Discharges as a result of those very loud voices and clear visions or nasty taste in their mouth and no entitlement to VA benefits. Our Homeless Veterans situation speaks as a reminder of those sacrifices endured for the freedom we share and should not be ignored. It is sadly understood, 22 or more “Known Soldiers”/”Veterans” are committing suicide in America daily.
In my book, “The Disabled Veteran’s Story” www.miguelreece.com the question, “Why Couldn’t I have Died Instead of Living Like This?” is a proverbial question asked. Often times it is masked with drugs as the answer or a way to forget. Is it “America First?” We don’t often speak to the number of spouses/family members who also commit suicide. As the Tampa mother who admitted to killing her two teenage children because they “talked back and were mouthy”. Her only regret is that she did not kill herself and believed her actions had saved those children from a life of depression and mental illness. It speaks to the conversation or is a reminder of those wars or battles that do not end on the battlefields off our shores during the warriors deployments. Homelessness among veterans has been effectively managed in Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware along with more than 40 communities which should be employed as a starting point benchmark practice for those known soldiers/veterans who sacrificed and are now struggling in society.
We should show our gratitude with the rightful words, “Thank you for your sacrifices and service,” at Reece’s #ThankaVet. Or perhaps, find your own way to say; ”Thank You”. Tag or Share those ignored “Known Soldiers/Warriors” on this solemn Memorial Day with your circle of friends or the world.
I Salute You With “One Love”!
A Disabled Veteran