I cannot lie, I do enjoy the benefits of having been a Veteran, but I always think about those who didn't even see their 19th, 21st, or 50th birthday for having to deal with the pain of PTSD or in direct line of military conflict. There are way too many of these types of stories and I bet that it affects many survivors who along with them, survived some terrible scenarios only to come home and endure the reality of their fellow military brother taking their own life.
I am so happy that Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers decided to do what he did so that the conversations continue on this topic and other topics that need to be addressed before anymore senseless dying continues.
At first, when I saw that he didn't stand, I was a bit taken aback- maybe because of his religion, I thought. I felt no dis-respect either way because as a Veteran, I felt that we are fighting to have the freedom of expression in this country.
If there are inequities in this world, and we all know that there are, we need to come to the table and figure out a way in which we can all become empowered, to feel respected and to have true American unity for long term survival. No one is better than anyone, even if one is making 11 million a year throwing a football or in the front lines hoping to stop ISIS. We are all Americans, choosing how to exercise our freedoms without causing harm to anyone.
What is alarming though, is that 22 military men, afflicted with the shrapnel of the war, or the war experience are committing suicide. This is not something that they would choose if they would have never been exposed to such horrific events, but we are told that that is exactly what we signed up for. What do we expect? These are the negative side affects like chemo therapy tearing at some poor soul from the inside out.
It would be my honor to try and help these service men and women that feel that there is no other alternative to quiet the noise, the noise of perpetual war in the mind and reduce the senseless suicide rate. We know that its there, we have to make them feel that its okay to feel it, and we have to be there for a hug or two when they need it. If you have anyone you know suffering with this noise, this affliction, please share this blog with them. We can all help! We can all help! We will help!