Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veterans Day and Beyond! Sometimes Honesty HURTS!



In the United States, Veterans Day is observed on November 11.  However, if it occurs on a Sunday then the following Monday is designated for holiday leave, and if it occurs Saturday then either Sunday or Saturday or Friday, may be designated.  Regardless of when it occurs we should all be thankful to those who served in the military.  As a military family I know that it is not just the veteran that gives but their families as well.  

So today I thank my two sons for serving and providing the freedom that some of us take for granted.  Thank you to all military families and I know a lot who have given so much in the name of freedom.  I have a lot of people tell me to tell my sons "thank you for serving in the military" and it always touches my heart.  

Thank you Aaron for sacrificing for all of us!

Thank you Justin for sacrificing for all of us!

STOP!!!

Do not read further unless you want to read the truth!

Okay, that is the wonderful part of Veterans Day; the celebrations, the cookouts and being with our families.  BUT there is something that I want ALL of you to know.  It isn't pretty on the other end of the wonderful "coming homes".  Here are some statistics that the media will not tell you because they really hurt, they are painful and down right embarrassing.  This is how our military men and women are really treated.  Not all of them but here are the statistics.  I am sure as of this date these statistics are  much higher.  

There are 860,000 American veterans needing help from the Veterans Administration and few are getting it.  

There are 360,000 soldiers diagnosed with traumatic brain injury or TBI.  

As many as 130,000 men and women who served in uniform are now sleeping homeless on the streets of America.  

On an average day more then 22 take their own lives out of despair.

A Veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes. (Veterans Affairs)

336,000 have PTSD (Veterans Affairs)

In 2012, more US Soldiers, Seamen, Airmen and Marines died by their own hands than in battle. (Washington Post)

During each conflict in which America participates there are Veterans left behind.  There have been millions of people that come home from wars shattered, broken, and unable to ever earn a living.  Some families are broken by death, while others have had their loved ones return unrecognizable.  

My own son lost his home, his girlfriend, had to drop out of school, lost his job and his future of going to get his doctorate in organic chemistry.  He is not one of the 130,000 that are on the streets because he is with me.  If it weren't for me he would be one of the statistics listed above.  

If this isn't what you expected then find a way to help out and make this all stop!  I earn a living by teaching and then my Teachers Pay Teachers funds go into my being his primary care giver for his health and well-being.  

I am thankful that I have him here and that he came home alive, but I would like to have my real son back.  The one that was the life of the party, the one that always made us laugh, the one that loved devoting his life to finding a cure for Alzheimer disease,  the one that was so active on the campus of Georgia Southern.  No, he is not who left to go to war, but he is here with me and I am thankful today and every day that I wasn't handed a folded flag by another Marine.  I keep hoping and praying that one day he will have his life back, but he has been declared 100% disabled by the medical profession and psychiatrists.  

I close this post with this thought: Is there something you can do to help?  Look hard, you will find something to do to help out your fellow Americans.

Until None Are Left Behind!

          

19 comments:

  1. Oh Deb, thank you for posting this...truth is so very important. He is so lucky to have you. My heart breaks for each and every statistic.

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    1. Mine breaks for each family too! Pray for those that lost one today and for each and every day!

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  2. Thank you for posting the truth! Those numbers are so disheartening, but I have heard them before. =( We need to keep working to ensure our returning soldiers don't have to go through any of this. Thank you for having the courage to share your story!
    ~HoJo~

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    1. They are disheartening, but we have to keep on hoping and praying that they will get the help they so desperately need.

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  3. What a powerful post Deb! Thank you for posting the truth and stating the real facts! How lucky he is to have your love and support! Prayers to you and your wonderful family and to all who serve our country! <3

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    1. I think I am lucky too! He is a wonderful son and we are blessed to have him with us! Prayers are definitely what they all need!

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  4. This was amazingly transparent! I am so glad that you shared from your heart today! :) I was so touched by what you said and felt it all the way down to my toes! :) Tomorrow I will definitely have your sweet boys on my mind when I am thankful for the veterans in my life! :) Love you! :)
    XOXO,
    Tamara

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    1. Thank you Tamara! One day he will be able to look back at all this and realize how much progress he has made. I just want to keep on believing!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I too am from a military family and I have seen the hurt and trauma you spoke of. Your son is so lucky to have you in his corner when so many others have no one. I hope many people read this and think about the other side of Veteran's Day. Thank you once again.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. It is tough to be a military family and go through the hardships. I hope a lot of people read it too and make an effort to pay it forward to those families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this! I am so grateful for my freedom and the sacrifices our veterans have made. You must be so proud of your boys!
    Sally from Elementary Matters

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    1. I am grateful for my freedom too and the sacrifices they all have made. Thank you so much Sally!

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  7. This is such a wonderful piece to share, and I completely agree with your words. I have been given the chance to help a veteran and his family that I have never met through one of our school aides. They are on the verge of being homeless and to provide for his family he is contemplating enlisting for a 3rd tour just to provide. This day means more to me now then just a day off from school and it is amazing how many don't have the services they need and they are ones who protect us! From a grateful Army daughter and granddaughter! Again, thank you for your precious post!

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    1. Thank you Tara! I will pray for this family that you are helping and I hope he doesn't have to leave his family again just to provide. I hope all of our prayers are answered until none of them are left behind.

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  8. Thank you so much for posting this. You are absolutely correct that Veterans Day is more than just a day off work and a chance to have a BBQ. Thank you and your family for your son's service. I spent 10 years in the Marine Corps, and my husband is still active duty. As a mother, you have also given a great deal. I'm so sorry to hear about your son's struggles. It sounds like the he has at least been given his disability from the VA and that is a blessing. My dad fought for 5 years before he was declared 100% disabled; although, he wasn't able to work during that 5 years. The treatment of veterans after they return is downright sickening. I wish you nothing but the best during your son's recovery! Semper Fi!

    Angelia
    Extra Special Teaching

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  9. Deb,
    As a spouse of a retired veteran, I thank you and your family for your service and pray that God will give all of you the strength to persevere all the struggles. I know the struggles and heartaches of those serving our country while separated from the ones they love. They leave with a naive innocence (even the older generation) and come home with thoughts and images in their heads that nothing can erase - things they don't want to share with those of us that love them so that we are protected from their private hells. We owe so much more to our veterans than we can ever repay and it breaks my heart that we do not treat them better.

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  10. Thank YOU! As a mom of US NAVY sailor, I pray every day my son comes home. We have been through deployments, birth of granddaughter, divorce, & now a move across the USA. Even though he is a grown man with a family of his own, it affects EVERYONE! Your son is so lucky to have a mom with such a big heart! And you hug him each & every day! I, too, pray I will never be the mom who gets to hug the "folded flag". Thank YOU! wendy 1stgradefireworks

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  11. Thank you Deb. The truth is often seen through tears. I had to stop reading a few times to dry my eyes. I am sorry that your son has been changed. I am prayerful that he returns to you. Thank you for the last question on how we can help. My hubby and I both drive economy cars even though we only commute less than 5 minutes each. But we do not want to drive a gas guzzler that drives our country into war over oil. I am heading to my grandparents today to thank my grandfather for his service. Please hug your son for me. Thank him for his service and sacrifice. Deb, I cannot bear to say thank you for your sacrifice. It is too awful. I would like to magically bring him back, restore the light in his eyes, the lightness in his step, and the smile on his lips. I will pray to this effect. But I will stand with you, shoulder to shoulder. I will hold your hand and pray with you. You know where to find me always!

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  12. Wow. What courage it must have taken to post this so honestly.

    Having seen a member of my family who has entirely changed his personality and has re-enlisted repeatedly because nothing else seems right anymore... well, it brings the idea home that mental health is such a huge concern.

    I have so much gratitude for your son but also for your family. I hope that some new element comes into his life and helps bring him back to the smiles you remember. Praying.

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