As anyone who’s been following this blog for the past 6 months, it’s no exaggeration to say that my family has been going through a series of mini-crises. The Hubs’s was ill this summer with mono and the flu. The wind upended our patio table and shattered glass everywhere. The dog locked herself in the bathroom during a storm when we weren’t home and tried to eat her way out through the wall. A tree fell on our shed, demolishing everything inside it. And then I got laid off from my job of 13 years.
And you know what? I still have it good. My life is a good- no, great- one despite this rash of bad luck. And I owe a portion of my good life to the men and women of the Armed Service. Their courage, sacrifice and dedication have let me and every other American live a safe life- a life full of possibilities and pride.
Today is Veterans Day. This day marks the end of WWI in 1918 and was created as a holiday to remember and honor all those who served in the military. In 2012, there were 21.2 million vets living in America and over 2.5 million of those served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of that 2.5 million, over 37,000 have been deployed overseas more than 5 times and over 400,000 have been deployed more than 3 times. Think about those numbers for a second. Makes my problems seem pretty insignificant in comparison doesn’t it?
The good news is that modern medicine and battlefield triage have advanced so much that, proportionally, more of the men and women are coming home than ever before. But not all are coming back in the same shape they left. An estimated 51,000+ service men and women sustained physical injuries in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an estimated 320,000 have sustained Traumatic Brain Injury.
Those figures are staggering, aren’t they? I share them with you so you know exactly who to thank and why this Nov. 11th. If you feel the need to do something based on these figures, check out the Wounded Warrior Project– they do outstanding work helping injured service men and women live a productive, independent life. Looking for a new hero? Check out Taylor Morris– one of five people who have survived a quadruple amputation. Life as he knew it ended at age 23 when he stepped on a bomb- and yet he kept pushing and now drives, skis, kayak’s and snorkels.
It’s really easy to get bogged down with the stress of every day life, but today I hope we can all step outside of our daily drama and realize just how good we have it thanks to our Vets.