Dear Brave Soldier,
Many people in our country do not know your plight. We happily come together for Veteran’s Day with our neighborhood cookouts, family parties and are happy to have a paid day off at work. It is even “cool” when folks that have never served a day in their lives in the military steal your valor to impress women in bars. Some of us just don’t get it as you continue to die in combat, suffer mental illness, get raped on the battlefront, come home to broken families or find yourself homeless. All while our biggest issues are paying bills. As a citizen I want to THANK YOU and explain to others the price you pay so we can have our holiday.
COMBAT - People tend to think war is cool based off all of the popularity of video games today. But what these digital consumers do not understand is that when a soldier dies in real life there is no reset button. Soldiers are constantly being killed in combat and do not live to enjoy the end credits and bragging rights of beating the game. For all the GAMERS, this is a list of REAL WARS of where REAL AMERICAN SOLDIERS were killed with no possibility to respawn. (Curtesy of Wikipedia)
1. World War II 1941–1945 DEAD 291,557
2. American Civil War 1861–1965 DEAD 212,938
3. World War I 1917–1918 DEAD 53,402
4. Vietnam War 1955–1975 DEAD 47,424
5. Korean War 1950–1953 DEAD 33,746
6. American Revolutionary War 1775–1783 DEAD 8,000
7. Iraq/Afghanistan Wars 2001–present DEAD 5,281
8. War of 1812 1812–1815 DEAD 2,260
9. Mexican–American War 1846–1848 DEAD 1,733
10. Northwest Indian War 1785–1795 DEAD 1,221
11. Kosovo 1999–2014 DEAD 18
12. TOTAL LIVES LOST DEAD 657,598+
As of this moment a total of over 657,598 soldiers have been killed in our wars. This staggering number does not include the soldiers that are missing in action or the soldiers killed that cannot be recognized by family members. When you break it down by the numbers, it becomes a little clearer to the average American the huge sacrifice you willingly make for us so we can party and buy more stuff. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
MENTAL ILLNESS - According to USA Today, 1 Soldier in 9 exits the Army for mental disorder. Recent studies show that 30% of soldiers develop mental problems within 3 to 4 months of being home. Depression and PTSD are the most common mental illnesses as you try to adjust being away from war. I can only imagine the horrors you have seen as your closest friends are literally killed beside you as you fight to stay alive. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
SEXUAL ASSAULT ON THE BATTLEFRONT - An even darker side of your plight does not come from your enemies shooting at you, but from fellow soldiers that are taking advantage of you by violating you sexually. Most American citizens do not know that some of our heroes are being raped on the battlefront by other soldiers. While fighting for our freedom; 55% of women and 38% of men report being victims of sexual harassment or assault while serving in the military. As a person that was raped when I was 11 years old, I hope you get justice and understand the pain and humiliation you endured while protecting our freedom. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
BROKEN FAMILIES - It’s tough being a soldier. If you are blessed enough to not develop mental illness or get sexually assaulted while deployed, a large number of you all are coming home to find an empty house with a stack of divorce papers on the counter. 97% of military divorces studied occurred after a return from deployment. It’s truly sad that you risk your lives only to find out that your spouse has been unfaithful. It must be terribly difficult to continue serving our country with honor while protecting scumbags that infiltrate your marriage. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
HOMELESSNESS - It is incredibly ironic that between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless. So many of you fight desperately for others around the world to have a safe place to love and raise their children. You take down brutal dictators, drug lords and terrorist organizations only to come home and have no place of your own. Because of the lack of income due to limited education and no transferable skills from military to civilian life, a large number of soldiers find themselves homeless on the streets while society simply walks right by them. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
SUICIDE - Because of all the pain and suffering of mental illness, sexual assault, broken families and homelessness, an average of 22 veterans kill themselves daily! This is NOT okay to me and millions of other concerned citizens. You all give up so much for us only to take your own life dying alone and scared. This is a disgrace and I am sorry for your pain. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
HONORING OUR HEROES - For over two hundred years soldiers have given up everything for our great nation. Some of you have passed on and died in silence and obscurity. You all are real HEROES that do what is necessary without a pat on the back. I would like to pay tribute to the brave men and women that voluntarily walk through hell in service to us so we can freely celebrate our holidays without a thought or care in the world. God bless all of you. And may the Lord open our eyes so that we may garner the courage to STAND for you!