The costs of war continue far beyond when the wars end. War is horrifying and in order to be a successful soldier…you can’t evaluate life through the same set of lenses that you do when you’re going to buy your groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly. We sent kids to war…gave them guns and said go out and do good. And when they came back….many chose to kill themselves instead of going through life. Now that we’re out of Iraq and as we phase out of Afghanistan – I’d like to see our country focus more military resources to helping the veterans who are victims of PTSD and other injuries our soldiers bring with them from the battlefield…instead of looking for new wars to fight.
An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks.
“I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” he told his mom. Two years later, Ryan followed his beloved older brother to the Army.
More on veteran suicides HERE.
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