I don’t know the number. The numbers. They are anecdotal. I’ve read that seven veterans of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq take their lives each day. EVERY DAY. Someone else told me it’s TWENTY. I don’t know the number. I can’t find a reliable source.
Want to say it’s a conspiracy to hide the truth? I can’t say you’re wrong. Nor can I confirm you are right.
Here’s what I know. Tens of thousands were asked, called, to serve our country. Many answered the call. We can disagree with the mission. Lord knows I can’t stand the lies that Bush told to avenge an attack on his daddy. We can challenge the mission, but those that served, that still serve, that have died? They deserve respect. So do their families.
This I know: there was a call. Young men and women signed up. They committed, followed through, did their duty. In many cases they died, left behind moms and dads, wives and children, brothers and sisters. They were called and they served.
Still, how can we support those who came back?
The numbers…. Somewhere around 2300 US soldiers died in Afghanistan. It could be 4000 in Iraq. The official numbers are hard to find. The total is maybe 7000. Ask this…
If there are seven veteran suicides each day? In three years more have died by suicide than died in combat.
There there are 20? More have died by suicide in the last year than died in combat.
Regardless of the numbers, these are our sons, our daughters, our sisters, and brothers.
They were called. The reasons they responded don’t matter. They are personal. They showed up.
They are still dying.
They deserve better.
They need our support.