Why We Should Always Honour Veterans

Veterans are people who have fought for our country, they put our lives before theirs.

They have and always will be a big part of this world. Veterans have been around for many years and have fought many battles. For instance, World War II, Vietnam, Cold War, Revolutionary War, Civil War, the Spanish-American War and many more. Most veterans encounter a life that springs from being called up, going through basic training, going to school or otherwise known as AIT (advanced individual training), then you get a MOS (Military occupation), and you basically work the job your trained to do until your called up for war. Most veterans usually spend about twenty or so years in the military unless they have a disability or get discharged.

A tradition for veterans would be Veterans Day, this is a day where we honor and celebrate the love of our veterans. Veterans day is on the 11th day of November, they started this tradition because of World War I, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an Armistice was signed to cease World War I. Another tradition for veterans would be Military graduation, where they officially become a solider of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, or U.S. Air Force. There are many traditions in which veterans endure these are just a few.

I also inquired about the results that the military puts on our veteran’s mental health.

Many soldiers suffer a great deal after their stint in the service. Malcolm, a veteran from the Marines, informed me that he wakes regularly from night terrors and tremors from reminders of the pain and trauma he suffered. He has feelings of worthlessness that he is still here on this earth while others were not as fortunate. He tells me that he sees a therapist for deep depression and suicidal tendencies brought on from his time served that leaks into his mental state. He doesn’t regret his time he put in for his fellow Americans and feels with time and patience he may in time learn to adapt to the world he lives in today.

Many veterans suffer from PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), “which is a mental health issue that people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault” (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Top of page). PTSD can be treated with medication or therapy. The most common type of therapy is Psychotherapy; visualizing, talking, or thinking about the traumatic event that caused your PTSD (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, First paragraph). Getting treated for PTSD can help you make better sense of your trauma, learn skills to better handle negative thoughts and feelings, reconnect with people you care about, and set goals for activities, like work or school, that you are well enough to handle (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Bottom Paragraph).

There was a man named John, a blue-eyed Caucasian male with gray hair and a tremendous sense of humor. He was very eager to discuss his thoughts of the mere basic training he endured in the Army. He said he ran day and night during the cold rain, thunderstorms, and massive heat. He gave a vivid image of doing push-ups until he collapsed under the weight of his large frame. John stated at times it felt as if his bones were nothing but rubber. He described the vigorous workouts as a torture to his limbs, feeling as if his muscles were being ripped apart by a pack of wild dogs. Furthermore, describing himself enclosed in rooms known as gas chambers where he remembered gasping for air and choking on fumes spraying around his body until passing out. John voiced that these are memories that will forever be etched in his head but also believes he would undergo it all again for the sake of his country.

Darvin volunteered into the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966, after graduating high school at Shelby High. He served in the Marines for three years. He began his basic training at the Marine Corp Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, for eight weeks then he was chosen for duty with the aviation branch of the Marine Corp and did his training at Naval Air Station in Memphis, Tennessee. He did his combat training at First Battalion, First Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He had to do a lot of physical training such as pugil sticks, rope climbs, confidence courses, and close order drills.

In light of the conversations, the conclusion can be made that the lives of veterans before the military are drastically different than the lives they live after the term that they each served. They all suffered and served in multiple ways but together they are joined as a family for the things they have all in common. Some veteran’s lives went on pretty much the same as before they enlisted but many suffer a great deal with that they have been through. There are so many aspects to the United States Veterans and the things they have done for us and our country. With each ordeal these men and women went through is as equally as important as the next person. In leaving the visit today being humbler and more aware of sacrifices. We, as a whole, owe so much to the ones who have fought for our freedom.