This Saturday is Veterans Day when we honor all of those who have served and are still serving.
We attend school programs and listen to little kids singing songs, we visit gravestones and put fresh flowers on them, and buy poppy flowers at the front entrance of stores. Some also watch TV show programs speaking of the history and why we celebrate this day.
But what we don't hear and what many of us don't see is what it's like to be a veteran. What it's like to come back home after a year or 30 of serving our nation. We don't understand the pride they have, the sacrifices that have been made, or the time spent protecting us.
Many of us don't know what it's like to sail on the ocean for months at a time, crawl through desert in scorching temperatures, be stationed in different states miles away from family, read bedtime stories over Skype, try to stay awake long enough to hear their kids voices due to an eight-hour time difference.. And many of us don't know what it's like to come back home and not feel right, to feel like you don't belong and that you can't adjust to living back in civilian life.
Over 540,000 veterans suffer from some type of post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. PTSD comes with a large array of symptoms that can be triggered in different ways. Anxiety and depression are two of the biggest ones, and due to this, 22 veterans on average commit suicide every day
This Veterans Day, I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to look into different areas on how you can support your local veterans and veterans around the world. The Wounded Warrior Project, Chive Charities and PTSD of America are just a few of the charities that work tirelessly to give back to veterans who are still fighting a daily battle, even though they are off the field.
In loving memory of my grandpa David K. Holcombe who served 27 years of active duty in the Air Force and retired with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant in 1979 and then was employed with the Veterans Administration until his retirement in 1994.
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