Recently, I attended my local Remembrance Day ceremonies, something that I had not done in many years. I have been out of the Army for eighteen years but I still feel like it is part of me and a big chapter in my life, having spent fifteen years in service. I dusted off the old medals and pins and participated. It just so happened that I finally got around to joining Veteran's Services this year too.
Perhaps it was the fact that I lost two old Army friends earlier this year to suicide, both having suffered from PTSD for years. A friend from work lost her son in combat this past year too. I have felt guilty of not being there for them. I feel like I could have done more. So my new resolution is to be more active in Veteran's events and activities. There are so many among the population now. The veterans of the Afghanistan war are very hard hit and many suffer from PTSD. I was talking to a few of them at the parade.
The truth is that vets only feel comfortable talking about their experiences with other vets, not with psychiatrists, councilors or even family. We always feel that anybody else will be too judgemental or critical. This is why, vet clubs like the Legion were so popular in the past. Perhaps they should be again. I am ready to lend an ear or a hand.
Remembrance Day, (Veterans Day in the US) is just once a year, but we all need to keep our vets and their families in mind all year round.