I had a call today with an ex marine. He was rather irate (and rightfully so) but I won’t share those details here. (Customer confidence, you understand.)
Anyway, so we had begun talking about his service as a marine. I mentioned to him about my family’s military history. My grandfather was a mechanic in the air force, and my paw-paw (great grandfather) was a pastor in the navy. The point here being paw-paw. I related to him the story of how he was supposed to be stationed at pearl harbor, but due to a mix up in orders, he was never sent. Regardless, he was brave enough to be there for those who would either come back changed men, or not come back at all. I have so much respect for veterans. I want to help them, and when I think about how little respect they receive, my heart breaks. I want them to live a good life after serving our country.
Something that still hurts me to this day is how I discovered that my paw-paw died. I had gone to visit my mother, and she handed me a little piece of printed paper that had his name on it, and a poem commemorating his life and death. I was speechless. When I asked her about it, she was completely upset. Apparently, her aunt (I think) told no one but her immediate family that he had died, and they were the only ones who attended his funeral. I get angry and I cry every time this comes to mind because, I didn’t get much opportunity to really talk to him. And I never got to pay my respects to such a brave and wonderful man. I don’t know why anyone would ever do something like this. (Money seems to be the most logical explanation but I don’t know how it fits in)
Regardless, I just…I wanted to express how I feel about army vets. I am absolutely enamored by them. And every chance I get, when I speak to one, I show the respect they deserve. I know that most don’t come back the same, and PTSD is one hell of a condition. While I didn’t go through the same things they did, I know what PTSD feels like, and I understand them. I hope that , one day, we come to show them the respect they deserve again. They are the true heroes. That is true bravery. The scars on my arm may be a testament to the kind of life I lived, but that isn’t bravery. That’s growing up with horrible home life, and making poor choices to deal with it. Anyone who thinks that cutting your wrists is more brave than serving your country needs to have their priorities checked.\
If you are reading this and you know an army vet, please show your respects to them. They deserve it more than anyone in our world.
If you are reading this and you are an army vet, I salute you. I want you to know that you are loved, and respected. Please remember that.