May 26, 2019
It is Memorial Day 2019 here in the United States. A day of remembrance for those military soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It’s a day to honor them, who they were, their service, and to the families, what they meant to them.
As a veteran myself, I was fortunate enough to have had military career that never saw me deployed to a war zone. When I enlisted, a mere 4 months into my service time, we as the United States went to war in the desert sands of Kuwait. We’ve been in that part of the world ever since. I retired in 2013.
I was also fortunate enough that my fellow Airman that deployed during my military service all came home and their families did not have to bear that burden of losing a loved one. They came home but some of them were never the same.
No matter how glamorized war is in the movies, television, books, and the media the people in the midst of the conflict will never be the same for both civilians and soldiers. Their view on life, themselves, and the world changes. No longer this place where truth and justice prevail but a world where the unjust sometimes win.
The atrocities and horrors of war can never be unseen no matter how many times the view changes for some. These are the ones who should be remembered as well on this Memorial Day. They may have come home with or without injuries, but they sacrificed a part of who they were to defend their countries. To some, a part of their morality died the moment they stepped onto the battlefield. Today they are still among the living, but their minds are still fighting that battle within itself.
There have been recent studies begun to determine how this “moral injury” affects those who served during war. In an article from the Moral Injury Project being conducted by Syracuse University, New York state, states that “Within the context of military service, particularly regarding the experience of war, “moral injury” refers to the lasting emotional, psychological, social, behavioral, and spiritual impacts of actions that violate a service member’s core moral values and behavioral expectations of self or others (Litz et al., 2009)…” Most soldiers when they return home are assessed for PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury, physical and psychological symptoms that can be outwardly visible but internally a Moral Injury is sometimes not obvious, even to the soldier themselves.
It is said in some psychology books and articles as it relates to development that a person’s world view is formed by the age of 13. This of course can change over time as we grow and develop but the basis of our view is already rooted in what we knew at a young age.
So, for the men and women who go into the service the ideals they have are not always the same when they return. Evident in their behavior after returning from war; substance abuse, addictions, debt, unstable relationships, homelessness, and mental health crisis are just a few of the most prominent issues. These are the ones who need to be remembered the most; the lost.
So, as you remember the fallen on Memorial Day take a moment to check on their comrades left behind after the battle ended. Let them know they have not been forgotten.
Have a wonderful week ahead!
Thank you for stopping by.
Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes to you always!