Recognizing the Silent Wounds of Soldiers
Today is Veterans Day and 18 soldiers will die. They will not die in combat, they will not die of old age, and they will not die of complications due to a physical injury. They will die by their own hands because of the silent wounds soldiers have. .
Eighteen veterans take their own life everyday in this country. Over 12,000 a year attempt suicide with many of them trying more than once to end the pain they carry within them.
It is said that over 100,000 veterans walk the streets and call the cots they sleep on in a shelter home. They often live in boxes in ally ways, or find warmth at a friends house for a few days, or sleep under bridges. these vets lose their battle in the streets of America.
Today because of the silent wounds of war such as PTSD, stress and anxiety, many vets are being arrested for drunk driving, domestic violence and crimes with none of these actions part of their character but the result of unaddressed combat stress.
These are the men and woman who laid down their lives and sadly many veterans will wake up alone because their families just couldn’t tolerate it anymore. Many of these family members have no idea what these silent wounds can do. So vets are often left alone struggling with it.
Today many places of businesses will offer free services to our veterans such as free food, car washes and other amenities. Many towns will give them a parade, but 18 of these vets wont get to participate because they committed suicide. Today there will be 18 more soldiers our country will have to bury because of a silent wound that people did not see.
PTSD is a psychological illness that strikes many who've experienced the tragic and awful events of combat. Many soldiers who suffer the fighting and survive go home bearing invisible wounds that can destroy lives years, even decades, after the war stops.
While PTSD among soldiers has been well publicized, other mental heath issues can also result from the trauma of war. A June study in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry found that one in 10 Iraq war vets develop serious mental problems, including violent behavior, depression and alcohol abuse. The study found that PTSD or depression seriously impaired daily functioning in 8.5 percent to 14 percent of these vets.
Disabling on its own, PTSD is also linked to the development of physical illnesses for veterans as years pass. Researchers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., reported this year that 54 percent of veterans with PTSD also had sleep apnea as well as having a greater risk of developing dementia, according to a June study in Archives of General Psychiatry.
So try to remember to recognize that sometimes wounds can be invisible and these invisible wounds will take the lives of 18 soldiers today.