And so it was, that on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, in the year of our Lord 1918, that the Great War fell silent. In the wake of this conflict, on both sides over 16 million died, and an additional 21.2 million military wounded. The US losses was over 116,000.
There are three days we celebrate those who are serving or have served. Memorial Day is for those who have fallen in battle. Patriots Day is for those who are serving. Veterans Day is for those who have served and have retired or been honorably discharged.
Today, I wish to say to my battle brothers and sisters: Thank You.
We all see this: The warrior returning home:
What we do not see is this:
What tears me up is the fact that we ship our bravest and brightest off to war, and we don’t adequately support them after they return home. Twenty-Two veterans, most of whom have survived multiple tours in the Middle East, complete suicide every day.
Let me say that again: Twenty-Two veterans complete suicide every day.
Hug a veteran today. Shake their hand and thank them for their service. Ask them what you can do for them, not just today, but all year long.
Sure, everybody is patriotic today, but there are 364 other days in this year that someone who has been programmed to kill other human beings needs support and love. Stopping that programming is very difficult.
The behaviors and actions that kept you alive on the field of battle have no place in any civilized society. The highs of meth, heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs have nothing on the emotional rushes you get during and after a battle. That is when our fighting men and women feel the most alive. After experiences like that, it is no wonder that our veterans are dying by their own hands at this rate. It would be like being born in a world of black-and-white, then experiencing color, then fading back to black-and-white. There is a part of your soul that is now empty and there is no way to fill that emptiness.
Let’s make every day Veterans Day. The sacrifices we paid, and continue to pay for the rest of this country to sleep safe at night is too great to be honored by just one day a year.