Veterans Day? Is It Really?

Like most things that matter Veterans Day only comes to mind when it’s a trending topic. Or serves as a savings reminder at any of your national retailers. Ever see any veterans in those ads? Commercials? I’ll wait. Neither have I. I’m a veteran. So were most of my friends.  Death. Pain. Time. And life have kept us apart. But that person always remains a part of you. So much so that it feels like yesterday.

  
A calendar without dates. That is what it feels like. There is no way to mark the impact of meeting so many people. Wildly different in their approach. Completely the same in loyalty. It is hard to write this because so much is buried. Figuratively speaking too. It is easier to post pics at the beginning as opposed to the ones that marked the end.

  
Veterans past and present are so much more than a social media post, white sale and a free donut at Krispy Kreme. Participating locations only. Suicide. Addiction. Sexual trauma. PTSD. Chronic homelessness. Mental illness. Disabilities Uncompassionate and delayed medical treatment.  The list goes on…

  
These are only a few of the issues that most veterans live with daily. There are definitely more. Some cope better than others. But still struggle with the appearance of having to keep it all together. Most don’t cope at all. Eventually  giving up and giving in to their demons. The government’s solution to these insurmountable problems has been to introduce more initiatives to go along with their well crafted speeches while veterans continue to die, remain homeless and live lives largely invisible to the American people. Except during this yearly sale of course.

  
So today I will not be capitalizing on any of the freebies offered from local food chains and the like. I don’t need to show proof of my military service. I carry it with me everyday. In my heart. 

  

Click on this link if you’d like to help the Homeless Veterans of Richmond. https://the-extra-mile-thanksgiving-charity-challenge.everydayhero.com/us/shon

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