Today is the day we celebrate and honor the lives of those soldiers who put themselves on the line to fight for the freedom we have today. Today is Memorial Day.
I’d like to share with you, how this day has solidified meaning in my life and my future. But first, a prelude:
Mid-April, I met a man. Our first interaction was like a scene from a comedy. As my best friend giggled near by, this man and I briefly exchanged glances, smiles and moments of shear sarcasm.
Maybe two minutes had passed and I left with his phone number in hand even though I don’t know that either of us planned to speak again. It was more of a formality. But I decided within the next 24 hours, that I would take a risk.. a risk I will thank myself for years to come.
After meeting with this man for dinner one night and drinks another night, I had a completely different outlook on life and what it meant to sacrifice.
You see, this gentleman that I had exchanged glances with was a soldier. He is a Veteran. This man fought for his country, my country, our country. Now I’m sure that I pass veterans on a daily basis, but I haven’t become so close with a man with such passion or dedication to risk his life.
This man walks, –dammit he runs– despite losing part of his leg because of his devotion to the American flag. This man has seen death on another level. This man knows all too well what it means to take risks.
This man, because of the grain-sized risk I was willing to take in contacting him, has truly inspired me. I have decided that my passion for helping those who struggle with mental illness and suicidality will be best served to those who have served for me-by fighting in the war.
I will be going back to school to get my Masters Degree in Social Work, with the hopes to have the opportunity to work at the VA. I would be honored to sit next to those Veterans both young and old who struggle to embrace their lives once returning from war. PTSD is real and it is ALL too real for those coming back home from the front line.
I extend an enormous Thank You to those Veterans who lost their lives in battle, to those who returned home and lost their lives due to the almost impossible fight of PTSD and other illness caused by war. Thank you to those Veterans who are home now, to those soldiers currently on the field, and to those in training. You’re bravery and willingness to fight is truly inspiring.