war kills people from the inside out sometimes
“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”
I watched an episode of Parenthood a couple of days ago that had a story line about a young returning vet. He and the patriarch were talking about returning and the patriarch was talking about coming back from Vietnam and being greeted with protesters and hate. The young soldier looked at him and said “At least you didn’t become invisible.”
To me, this is a major part of the problem. Military members return and feel lost and like America could care less about them. No one is standing up for their mental health. No one is helping them readjust. And the time they have spent in the military means nothing in the job market. And while the company line is that one shouldn’t be ashamed to reach out for help, there’s still that Army of One/ Army Strong culture. Standing tall and making no complaints. That makes it hard tell people about what they’ve gone through. Not to mention, there is still so much we don’t know about the mental costs of war.
Just a few weeks ago, a soldier in my husband’s company attempted to commit suicide. During Suicide Prevention Week. And these numbers say nothing of the military family members committing suicide. Think about that. We have had an epidemic for a long time now. In a society that is supposedly more connected than ever, military members have never felt so alone.