Someone needs to stand up and be a voice

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Divisi...

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division wearing ACH helmets in the M81 Woodland pattern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: United States Army paratroopers train...

English: United States Army paratroopers training in a jump at Fort Brag, North Carolina, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have recently been doing some research on the internet about our soldiers and veterans serving overseas or who have served overseas. I am sure that this information also includes non deployed military personnel as well, and there will be a link posted at the end of this post to find some of the research that i used for this post.

Do you realize that every 65 minutes a military veteran commits suicide. In 2012 the number of troops committing suicide was higher than the number of troops killed in combat. 21% of all suicides in the United States is a veteran. That to me is a very shocking number.

The government is doing things to try and help alleviate this number, but speaking as a veteran, I think they are far short of where they need to be. Basically when a soldier is discharged from the military that is the end of the road. The next day you are replaced by another body and given a ticket home. We send kids as young as 18 years old to a foreign country to kill and expect them to be ok when they return to the states.

I understand that they have chosen to go in to the military and that most of them will be ok at least on the surface when their service time is over. However it ought to be a huge wake up call when 1 out of 5 US veterans are committing suicide. We as a nation are very quick to send our troops overseas to fix problems in other countries, but we quickly forget to keep our own house in order when it is time to care for our troops.

It is time for us as a nation to stand up and be a voice for our troops returning home. When you see one of our troops stop and say thank you and shake their hand. Some you don’t know that they are soldiers but some you do. Take that 5 seconds and do it.

I may not have alot of followers on this blog but that doesn’t mean that I cant be a voice for our troops. If all of you also become a voice for our troops and so on, it will not take long for the government to figure out that there are more important things to worry about besides the pay raise that they are going to get or the vacation they are going to take for a month or so in the summer time.

To top it all off we cancel the fireworks at military bases. One of the most important days in US history and we take it away from the troops who have been serving multiple deployments overseas. I returned from combat in late April of 1991. Part of the July 4th celebration was Lee Greenwood performing at Ft. Bragg NC. When he sang “God Bless the USA”  I cried like a baby and I am not ashamed to admit it. That was a very special moment for my wife and I. We celebrated me coming back safe and serving my country in combat all at the same time.I may have rubbed some of you the wrong way and some of you the right way. Either way I do not care as long as I have rubbed you some way. If we stay silent it will never change. Our troops deserve more than mediocrity after serving in combat.

I may have rubbed some of you the wrong way and some of you the right way. Either way I do not care as long as I have rubbed you some way. If we stay silent it will never change. Our troops deserve more than mediocrity after serving in combat.

In closing I just want to say to any soldier currently serving or have served in combat or in peace time. THANK YOU and GOD BLESS



admission #1 is about to be over

After four days in this hospital it was about time for me to be released and head back home. It is about a 2 hour drive North from Pittsburgh. Prior to me leaving the hospital I must have had these memories that I am about to mention, but I did not really know that I did for quite some time yet.  I was not reminded of these thoughts till almost March. Could this have been while unconscious for the time that I was or could it have just been my brains way of letting go of some of the memories that I have kept stored away for so long. Being in the Gulf War and being a firefighter you are bound to see some things not fit for human eyes. I see myself as very lucky to have been in the first Gulf War instead of the second one. The first one was like a joke compared to what the troops are going through in the war now. As far as the firefighting I am in a small town so our work load is much smaller than that of a big city. With that being said, there are still some rough things that happen in your life. Some of the worst sights that my eyes have ever come across have rebounded to my mind. I saw alot of people that I have had contact with  in the past. I cannot say honestly if they were in their deceased state or in the alive state. The only one that I was sure of was a guy that graduated a year or 2 behind me in high school that took his one life with a shotgun. Unfortunately I was on duty that day and saw the worst day of his life. However he was not in that condition when I saw him this time. There were many others that came to mind, some of which I will not speak of out of respect for the person that was in that state. The worst of all was seeing the two young teenage girls who had their canoe tip over in the creek near the fire station where I work. There was a total of 5 people in the water that day in danger. We were able to save three of them. The other two were 13 year old girls who were trapped in the canoe in some branches under the water less than 4 feet deep. The crew from our department and another worked for 4 1/2 hours attempting to get the girls from the water. We did everything humanly possible. I held on to the tree that they were under for what seemed like days to hold the boat in position. My arms ended up bruised from wrist to elbow and looked like I was scratched by a cat. Everyone on that crew looked the exact same way. When we finally got them out, it was painfully obvious that they were not going to make it. That was in 2000 and to this day I can still remember the earrings and the hair color of both of those young ladies. Part of me wanted to say that I was not cut out for this job because we had failed that day, but the other part of me saw it as a success because we had saved 3 out of 5 people. It is kind of a morbid way of seeing things, but I guess that is a coping mechanism. I remember me and another firefighter bringing the canoe to the shoreline below where the incident occurred and a camera man for the news paper was attempting to take photos of us with the canoe. I made it very clear that if that we would not allow him to take photos and if he did things may not end well. I I have never told this story to such detail to anyone except my immediate family and co-workers. It is by far the worst thing I have ever dealt with in my life to that point. There were two others that came immediately to my vision, but I will spare the details. I will say that one of them was a fatal motor vehicle accident. It was the first time that I realized that someones loved one had passed away and I knew it before they did. This conclusion came about simply by looking at the license plate of the vehicle and saying that that this is someones relative or spouse. It really makes you take a second look at life and try not to take things for granted. I realize that I am getting a little off topic here so I will try to get back on track. I remember getting in my wife’s car and being very silent on the way home during most of the trip. I may have had a headache still but I don’t recall that. When I got there there was a brand new reclining chair that my wife had purchased for me to have when I got there. It was impossible for me to be comfortable without my head being elevated I guess, which only makes sense if you have swelling in your brain. After talking with one of my children last night she said hat I was trying to be as independent as possible but I could not do a thing. I had asked for help with a condiment or a jar of something that I could not open and when she attempted to help me with it  I yelled at her and told her that I could do it myself.  I was not allowed to be alone at all. My oldest daughter ended up leaving her job so that she could be with me while my wife was at work. My youngest was still in school and did everything that she could. I could not walk to the kitchen by myself, or the bathroom, or up the stairs. I had to be bathed by my wife. Thank the Lord that she has lots of patience because at this time I was a very mean person. Nobody knew if I was ever going to return back to the person that I was before My Fall to Life. I will leave here and pick up my trip home tomorrow since I got so far off topic. I apologize for that but hey it happens