I have always been taught to respect the men and women who serve our country. My grandfathers served, two uncles, and a few others in the family. I wasn’t raised in a military household, but I was taught at a young age that our freedom is protected by our military.. I hadn’t thought about it a lot until a few years ago. My husband got a job offer to travel to Iraq to work for a year. The decision had to be made in one day. We had some very serious conversations. We both believe in serving our country, but we never would have been able to be in the military ourselves. But this was his chance to really go out there and make a difference and I was supportive 100%. When he was gone we talked a little about what he was doing and the people he was meeting and how hard the soldiers were working and wonderful it was to work with. He was making a difference when I never had the opportunity to. The work he did out there made me proud that he cared enough about our country to go out there and help get our soldiers home. Regardless, I will never have the words to adequately express my feelings of just how much I love this country. About how much respect and pride I feel towards our soldiers who are out there every day serving our country. Keeping us safe and preserving our freedom. But they pay a huge price. They often come home physically and mentally disabled. Some can’t work. Others suffer from terrible PTSD. I have PTSD as well, but I can’t even imagine the impact is has on them. I feel like they have had it so much harder. So I’m here sitting at my desk writing about how patriotic I feel, but what I really feel is that I’m not doing anything. We can write and talk all we want, but are we really helping anyone? I believe some of us are, but is it enough? I believe I can do more. This morning I signed up to volunteer with Soldier’s Angels. A group that helps you find service men and women to write letters to. Letting them know that we at home support them and want to know we are there for them. I also contacted the local VA hospital. I want to go volunteer there as well. I have no idea what they need, but whatever it is I’ll do it. I’m not trying to make my self look good, or be prideful or whatever. I’m just saying I was feeling guilty for believing in something, wanting to fight for someone, but not actually doing anything about it. So I challenge you to try to take action. It doesn’t have to be much. It can be so simple. Take 5 minutes out of your week and send a soldier a letter. It will mean so much to them. I don’t know if I can make a difference, but I’m not going to stand back not do anything any more.
Find a clinic or hospital near you: http://1.usa.gov/1JeGPrt
VA Voluntary Service Page http://www.volunteer.va.gov
VA Crisis Line. Find a Call Line near you: http://www.volunteer.va.gov/