Let us reflect the real reason of Memorial Day.
For centuries, wars were fought. Young men were drafted, traveled to other countries to fight other young soldiers. So many wars were fought. Many young men and women lost lives, lost limbs, lost sight of themselves. They come back home as heroes; however, they’re not the same. Before it was labeled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as anxiety, the jump scares and aftermath when speaking about any war period would put strain in family homes.
Every year when this holiday comes around, they recognize all the veterans. Yet they still keep hush about the homelessness that veterans have to endure. Not to mention the medical treatments at the VA clinics, which became a national topic a few years ago based on the conditions. They give them medals of honor, different ones have a different meaning, but still ignoring the fact that they can’t get their innocence back. Fighting a war, just so the government pockets continue to thicken up. Some politicians out here are veterans, whereas many others are ‘faking the funk’. One would think that they would treat other veterans out here better. A lot of those young men, and women, were willing to sign up, while others signed up, but having many worries tucked away in the back of their minds.
Let us reflect those who really made a sacrifice for the sake of this country. I want to really pay attention to how many African Americans that have become veterans, but had to come back on U.S. soil still facing discrimination. They still wanted to make a name for themselves, even after slavery ended, and between the period of Jim Crow and the lynchings, black people still wanted to be a part of something when they signed up. And during the period where they got drafted too like all other young males back in those times, they still wanted to be a part of something.
My mom would tell me how my grandfather would jump up in the middle of the night shouting, thinking he was still in the time of World War II. My grandmother would have to snap him out of it. That was beginning signs of PTSD. My uncle was drafted to the Vietnam War, where my mom said as a little girl, she remembered everyone being really sad. My other uncle was shipped to the Korean War. My own father was in the Army, and thought that he had to be drafted for the First Iraq War. Thankfully, they didn’t draft him, but I know a lot of other kids’ fathers probably were. My ex-boyfriend fought Operation Iraqi Freedom, while drove him into PTSD. Unfortunately, he ended his life almost 4 years ago.
This country failed to realize what these men and women have to deal with once they fight a senseless war, and the aftermath that puts a strain on families and loved ones. All they do is shove them money thinking that’s going to solve everything. It’s not. It’s not going to give them their lives back before they became soldiers. How about starting with the homeless vets and providing them shelters, food, a job and some stability. Give them more recognition besides Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day (in November) and giving discounted or free meals. How about providing them some mental health assistance so they won’t drive themselves to suicide after they fought a war. There’s so much that can be done.
But above all this, how about no longer fighting wars that have ZERO reasoning behind it. That way, there won’t be any more bodies in the cemetery, with the familiar stones of their name, rank, branch and war they served. So today, not only will I reflect on the many lives lost from a war dating back centuries, I reflect on how better this government can do to assist our brave soldiers that take that sacrifice each time when something goes down.