November 11 is Veteran's Day in the United States. For much of the rest of the world and especially in Europe, it is Armistice Day, the day that marks the end of World War I. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when the armistice was signed, over 20 million people had lost their lives.
To some November 11th, a national holiday, is a day off work. To others this day means a lot. It is a time to remember those who we have lost and celebrate those who have served and are currently serving.
Growing up, I always knew what Veteran’s Day was, because my dad was an Air Force vet. He was active in the American Legion, as was my who family. Later on in life, I met my father-in-law, a retired Army vet who received 2 bronze medals. Today, I celebrate my husband, a Sr. Chief currently in the Navy Reserves and who has served three tours. I celebrate my nephew, Mike, who was on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Persian Gulf right after 9/11/01. I celebrate many, many friends who have served and who are currently serving this great country of ours. Thank you so much for your sacrifice. Thank you for fighting for the freedoms many are taking advantage of now.
This year, especially, I think Veterans Day is a day to recognize that our vets need emotional support. Support they do not seem to be getting from the Veterans Administration. In seeking more information on organizations that do offer this, I came upon Mission 22. Mission 22 is a national community supporting service members, Veterans, and their family members, through three areas of focus:
Support and Treatment Programs— for active service members, Veterans, and their family members, addressing Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, suicide risk and other challenges.
Social Impact— uniting civilians and the military community to raise awareness of issues active service members, veterans, and their family members face.
Memorials— remembering and honoring service members and Veterans through large scale installations and digital initiatives, while raising awareness for issues faced on home soil.
Through Mission 22 I was able to learn that some service members can have a TBI from a blast injury. I am not talking about them hitting an IED, it is from the sound of the blasts. The sound of missiles launching and other very loud, repetitive noises.
Another good resource is Vets 4 Warriors. You can also find resources at your local Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) or American Legion Posts.
If you see a vet today, thank them for their service. If they want to talk, LISTEN. I know my vet is feeling like the time he spent away from his family while serving in Afghanistan was for nothing. It is hard to hear him say this and to see the emotion he has. I can’t think he is alone.
God bless each and every one of our Armed Service men and women. I thank you for your service.