I have vivid memories of the breaking news reports announcing the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968. There seemed to be a sense of profound sadness by many locals in this northern Maine hamlet. But I also detected a sense of giddiness from others.
One number: 22. That's all it took to transform Ellen Goosenberg Kent from a filmmaker to a woman on a mission. "When I heard that 22 veterans are killing themselves every day, I thought: This is outrageous. That's almost one every hour. I had to do something," she said.
Obviously, military families make incredible, admirable sacrifices, and many personnel can't be allowed to leave for longer blocks of time. But if the Navy can part with new moms for 18 weeks after a birth, it can part with at least some new dads for more than 10 days total during the child's first year of life.
So this July 4th, I'd ask everyone to go beyond what they might usually do (for example, thanking us for our service) and get to know us through action. A little creativity and an inquisitive mind will turn up lots of opportunities to put your talents to good use.
This Father's Day, if you need substance abuse or mental health assistance, ask for it, especially if you are a veteran. Your family needs you and most likely, they love you.
We thank them publicly and declare holidays in their honor, yet we refuse to try to understand their needs and, therefore, perpetuate a never-ending cycle of fear and stigma. We express our gratitude from a distance, leaving them feeling as broken as we believe them to be.
This Memorial Day, I encourage you to go to a cookout, shop a holiday sale, and attend a parade if there is one near you. Offer to go buy red plastic cups, contribute some money to a 12-pack of cheap beer, and enjoy every moment you get to hangout with your families. My friends would want you to remember them that way.
This weekend is the official start of summer in the United States. Memorial Day Weekend 2015 sale email blasts fill up my personal email inbox. My twitter feed includes links to avoid lines at the airport and the gas stations as America plans to travel for the long holiday weekend.
Whatever the age of your child, there are many ways that children of all ages can remember the love and celebrate the lives of loved ones on Memorial Day weekend and every day.
It wasn't until he walked through our door that I realized it would be a long time before we would feel like a family again. That we could manage living together.
Among those who did return and the family members of all who served, I see too much addiction and pain. That personal human suffering is an unacceptable legacy to those who died in service to their nation.
Making it happen. Getting it done. Those are traits I admire, and this week they are on full display at Live Nation in an announcement made by Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Besides celebrating our military with these special days in May, we must all do more than just wave the American flag or take the day off and watch the parade. We have to help and embrace our veterans so the transition from military life to civilian life is not as painful.
You know what really offends in our society? A woman who expresses "wants" and "needs" of her own, especially if she is a MOTHER.
In four months, she will be 2. I know there will be more work trips. Some will be a week, some will be a month, and in the future, depending on where we go, they may be many months. That is the military life. That is the life my husband and I chose. But it is not the life she chose.
When no one is listening or watching, what do you do? Hillary cares, and she corrects problems even when people do not see it. This is the real Hillary that I support. Many members of Congress and the Senate pay only lip service toward assisting the troops and veterans. Hillary cares for the troops and their families and has proven it.