Memorial Day Should be OUTLAWED

I wrote this in May 2010 and decided to share it with you again:

Instead, Every Day the American public should express thanks to our veterans and soldiers.  If we were more caring and appreciative on a daily basis instead of squeezing our thanks in between a cold beer and a softball game, NASCAR race or Bolder Boulder on our day off, then perhaps veterans would be more honest with us about their experience and the stress they are dealing with each day.

Looking for my brother's name on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall

Looking for my brother’s name on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall

What is it that is capturing their souls and leading our soldiers to commit suicide in record numbers? In the past five years the suicide rate among soldiers was the highest since 1980 when they were first recorded.

Military suicides make up 20% of all suicides in the US.  And for every death, five members of the armed forces tried to take their lives and were hospitalized instead.

The government is trying to stem this human exodus and is deploying mental health experts to work with the returning soldiers and their families.  In the beginning, when a soldier was deployed, he or she had the support of family back home. However, as the deployments were extended and increased, the support back home began to have their own mental health issues.

For the families left behind dealing with their own anxieties, running the household, making ends meet, parenting their children, holding down a job and fearing for the safety of their loved one, they may not have the strength to offer the support and hope to their spouse that they once had. They may be seeking mental health help for themselves, taking meds and antidepressants and trying to get support for their children.

In addition to being away from home, fighting a war that doesn’t end, with no actual date of return … these soldiers are learning about the stress they’ve put their family under. So to help out, they share less. They communicate less. They take the burden off the family back home as a way to protect them and hold it all inside.

And when they return home – they are wounded. Some are wounded on the outside, others on the inside and many suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder is commonly found in people who have lived through a traumatic event that caused them fear, stress and a sense of helplessness.

How do we express our thanks besides waving a flag? How do we offer help?

I sure would like to know.

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23 thoughts on “Memorial Day Should be OUTLAWED

  1. Touche!
    I rarely reblog because its just my personal thing, but I’d love to reblog this piece with your permission. Part of my reasoning for rarely reblogging is that if i decide to I want it to have menaing behind me reblogging. That what I am reblogging has certain signifigance for me. Know I won’t do it without your permission.

    My answer by the way to how do we express our thanks is by spending the day visiting the VA and nirsing homes, spending time with the vets that are still alive, paying tribute with your time. There are so many people who served our country that sit alone, day after day.

      • I am so bummed I never made it back to my computer yesterday. But I am not going to let because I let the day pass without reposting this I am doing it anyway. I think it’s as you say, everday! So maybe this was supposed to happen this way, a message meant for another day. Today TOO!!
        Thanks so much Margekatherine. This is as I said a very special piece. I am grateful for your sharing~

  2. As someone who isn’t connected to anyone in the service, I’m very moved by your post, Marge. We’ve become so dispersed in our culture that we aren’t in tune with our military as we once were in the history of our country. I appreciate the heart and truth, the compassion and caring you’ve expressed here. It makes me more aware of others–soldiers and their families. Merged with Art’s post on Zendictive today, I can feel an opening in myself around honoring and SEEING those who serve.

    • Hi Jackie,
      I love when I am directed to blogs, books, articles, movies and such that center on the same topic. It is the Universe saying “Look here – Hear this – Pay attention”.

      When it comes to our soldiers (past and present) it’s not over when they walk away. They still have much to deal with …mentally, physically, spiritually and their families suffer just as much. Love – Marge

  3. well said, my friend, well said. Coming from a military family, with 5 generations having served in the military it is a topic close to my heart. Too often, I’ve seen and heard disrespect and even disdain. I once listened to a woman rant and rave while we were standing by the side of a memorial plaque. When she paused for breath, I quietly commented to her that my 19 year old was serving in the US Navy and ready to lay down his life for her to have the freedom and privilege to carry on the way she did. Thank you for this!

    • It’s the attitude of the people HERE that is scary, isn’t i? Those individuals who have no appreciation for how freedom is achieved are the ones you can find in the mall getting their Memorial Day shopping done. Thanks for your powerful words Joss.

  4. Shared with my facebook friends…hope you don’t mind…Living with a VietNam Vet has made me see the trauma that lies inside of them…it takes a tole on their every day life after returning …along with their families…Thanks for sharing such truthful words! ~mkg

  5. This is a rare tribute to those who have served and are serving. Wish that everyone could have the opportunity to read it. I agree with you that their lives should be celebrated every day for giving us the freedom to celebrate our life.

  6. I agree with your main point – something desperately needs to be done to provide every day, year round support for soldiers and their families! But I don’t think that’s incompatible with having a specific day to focus on what we owe to veterans. (It’s kind of like saying you should never celebrate your anniversary because instead you should show love to your spouse all year – it’s not a matter of choosing only one, it’s a matter of doing both.)

    • You make a good point there and I totally agree. What I’m hoping for is that when it’s not Memorial Day or Veterans Day that attention, caring, concern and focus are still on this group of people. Sadly, it’s an out of sight, out of mind situation.

      I appreciate your insight and value your comments on this and all issues – Thanks for your input!

  7. Sister, I tweeted this because it was such a powerful message. I believe it should be shared. thank you. Only wish our brother was here to say it too.

  8. Reblogged this on Lady Barefoot Baroness and commented:
    Hello Good People,
    I wanted to share this post from Insode Out Care’s blog that she posted yesterday. Apiece that she wrote a couple years ago that is so worthy to be reposted and to be reblogged. My intent to make this reblog so was run aground yesterday, but MargeKatherine’s message got me to thinging AGAIN.Her message that we make every day a special day that our thoughts and prayers are there also for those who have served, and are serving our country & world; I’d also like to add a personal prayer request, that the families, the spouses, the kids, the parents and siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who all are serving their tours for this country and world too as the support systen back home to please be included in your thoughts and prayers.
    Thanks so much and please enjoy this beautiful tender post.
    Thank you MargeKatherine!!

  9. Hi Marge

    I really love regularly receiving blog posts from you and I find taking yourself out of your comfort zone is both brave and intriguing. To celebrate I have awarded you the Beautiful Blogger Award on both of my blogs, quirkybooks.wordpress.com and beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com Keep up the good work.

    Sandra

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