Today is Memorial Day.
Regardless of whether we agree with the wars that our country is fighting or has fought in, I firmly believe it is important to support our troops.
And by supporting them, I don't mean putting a little yellow ribbon on your car window or simply telling people you support them.
Our veterans are some of the most forgotten people in our system. Veterans become homeless and commit suicide at alarming rates compared to the general population. They suffer from physical and mental debilitation due to what they've been through and witnessed on behalf of the American government and people.
Personally, I am friends with many veterans. I go to school with many, and a lot of them have similar types of humor to mine, so we get along really well. I help them out when they need it, by talking with them and listening to them, figuring out how to fix school issues (such as with financial aid), and by simply being a friend who they know they could rely on. I offer assistance with homework too, should they need it. Many of them don't. They've learned to be self-reliant a long time ago. I'm just there if they need me.
It's never a good thing when we hear that veterans are being abandoned. It's a terrible thing when someone says to a veteran "It was stupid for you to go to war. You shouldn't have even signed up." I've actually heard people say things like that before. The truth is, people join the military for a multitude of reasons. Some want to serve their country. Some need the money for college. And still others join for personal reasons aside from those.
Today, I ask you to remember that it's not just another day off. I ask you to remember that "Happy Memorial Day" can actually be a hurtful phrase to the family who recently lost a loved one. I ask you to find a way to support troops outside of just saying so, even if it is just in your own little way.
Solidarity to ALL.
Kitty @ firstname.lastname@example.org