This Veteran’s Day, I ask you to spend a few minutes to thank the family members when you see the veterans.
Last week, my sister who is in Taiwan, sent me a news link in Taiwanese Newspaper, talking about a Gold Star child’s encounter with a soldier.
This news made me feel really sad. This boy has never met his biological father. However, years later, seeing another soldier still reminds him his father.
A couple days later, I saw this news about whether death sentence should not apply to the Veterans.
After reading the news, what made me feel really sad was the section they described how many people testified on this veteran’s behave and the trauma he suffered. It made me feel really said that those people cannot do anything for this veteran until it’s too late. This veteran’s family and friends and the victim’s family and friends are going to live with this for the rest of their lives.
Combat veteran’s PTSD is not their individual issues. It is a community issue. When you say “Thank You for your service” to a veteran, I ask you to remember there are many people behind this veteran who support him/her through deployment as well as their continuous battle with PTSD.
In my office, I heard from the children telling me how they worried their fathers would not come home even though they went to school every single day when their fathers were deployed.
In my office, I heard from the wives telling me how their husband choke them in the middle of the night because of the nightmares and they were scared to tell their husbands: “because I don’t want to make him feel bad.”
In my office, I heard the mothers expressing to me how they had to give the blessings to the children they gave birth, knowing they might not come home alive.
In my office, I heard from the spouses telling me how exhausted they feel because they have to work, take care of children, take care of the house, and “talk and behave the right way so that I don’t trigger him/her.”
In my office, I heard from the spouses sharing their constant worries to take care of the veterans’ recovery needs (mental and physical) while giving their children a “normal” developmental experiences.
In the news, we saw the families hug the service members when they come back from the deployment. However, do you know how many years these families have to endure the veterans’ absence and how many years they have to be “supportive” to cope with the veterans’ recovery physically and mentally? At the same time, they have to continue to support the needs of the family needs. The bills is not going to be paid automatically because their loved ones is battling PTSD. Children are not going to be fed automatically because their loved ones are battling PTSD.
A few years ago, a veteran said this to me, “If someone thanks me for my service, I always tell them, no, Thanks to my wife. She pays the bill, cleans the house, goes to the work, care for our children, moved us when the lease expires, and all I did was follow the orders with my friends.”
I don’t disregard the veterans services. However, this Veteran’s Day, I ask you to take a few minutes, thank you for the family members who support our veterans who served our country. There is an expiration day between the veterans and the military. However, the families’ supports to the veterans never expires.
This Veteran’s Day, I ask you to take a few minutes to thank the families of the veterans. They are the heroes behind the heroes.