This Memorial Day, honor those who have fallen in service to the nation. They have given the last full measure and they surely deserve our respect and gratitude. But take just a minute to honor those who fought in our wars and lived. For many, their battles are far from over.
Many of the men and women in uniform returning to civilian communities in the next few years will be largely isolated from those they once fought alongside, or other veterans who might understand. This, my father and grandfather would have easily understood.
Although two of the greatest attributes of our country might be our competitive spirit and our defense of our values and freedoms, one can't help but wonder at what price. Brains are the tie that binds us, but are we really coming undone? Think about it.
The question I face about our work is, "Doesn't the VA handle this?" The Department of Veterans Affairs works tirelessly to address the mental health needs of vets, but the reality is that it can't provide care to all those who have served.
Wounded Warrior had asked some of us to come to Landstuhl to meet with the medical staff there. Some 3,000 strong, military and civilian, they work ceaselessly in what has become one of the busiest trauma centers in the world.
Having seen the profound impact these dogs make on the lives of men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country, I can tell you that it's all worth it -- and then some. And, by the way, the dogs love it too.
It is our intent to showcase veterans who are looking for work, many who suffer from PTS/TBI, and the employers who have stepped up to hire them through the 10,000 Jobs for Veterans and Military Spouses Challenge.
Surely we can all agree that our veterans gave us their best, and in return, they deserve the best from each of us. But what can each of us do, as family, friends and concerned citizens to help ease the burden of our returning servicemen and women?
While every member of the health care team needs to be attuned to the possibility of PTSD and TBI, nurses must be particularly prepared to serve our military and their families with expert clinical care and innovative research on these most serious disorders.
While the Afghan War has always had its many non-Vietnam aspects -- geographical, historical, geopolitical, and in terms of casualties -- anyone could have had a Vietnam field day with the present situation.
Clearly, the counter to "too many wars with too few soldiers" is fewer wars. And how do we reduce the number of wars America has been lurching into? By requiring far more stringent and sturdier premises for going to war.
If you want to support the troops ask the right questions: What was his mental state when he allegedly killed those civilians? If he was under mental distress, why was he not removed from the battlefield?
While the emergence of veterans courts is an invaluable reform, no state mandates them. It is up to the individual county whether to create a veterans court. This creates a terrible roll of the dice for the veteran.
It's now 10 years after the indefinite detention prison of Guantanamo was created. With the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act broadening, the U.S. government seems to have given up on ever righting itself.