Our Freedoms come with a price …

Our Freedoms come with a price …

I hope everyone is enjoying our country’s 237th birthday!  I am so proud to be a free American!  I am forever grateful to all those soldiers from revolutionary war to present day for me to have my freedoms! 

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I have grown up in a family of brave souls who served our country.  My dad’s mother’s maternal (3x) great grandfather served in the revolutionary war.  This would be my fifth back great grandfather.  (Henry Harry, Henry Halen, Enos, Gilbert, Jeannie) Distant cousins erected a stone to remember him.  That was such a sweet gesture so he will never be forgotten!   This is a great article on the revolutionary families in Yancey, NC including Henry Harry Hensley. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncyancey/revolutionarywarfamilies.htm  (This picture belongs to Mike Shelton.)

My maternal papaw served in WWII in the Marines.  Several of my uncles served with a few fighting in Vietnam. I have quite a few cousins on both sides who have served.   Several cousins have also served their entire career for our country.  My cousin Jennifer will be in the Air Force soon and I’m so proud of her! My uncle Joe makes me so proud every day for the work he continues to do with veterans!  My father in law also served in WWII! I am just so proud to be related to them all!

I am so glad all my loved ones have came home from their service alive.  However that does not mean they came home unscarred for life.  We send young men and women to see and do unspeakable things during wars.  So just because we don’t see physical pain does not mean there isn’t mental anguish.   I couldn’t fathom just the horrible nightmares they must experience not counting flashbacks.  Several cousins have PTSD and struggle daily.  
Recently I had called an uncle who is a veteran and he was crying.  He had just gotten the call his friend who was also a vet had committed suicide.  My uncle explained that demons from Vietnam war had haunted his friend for over forty years.   He never could forget …. We don’t see that part of war but soldiers how can they escape those thoughts without help?  Forty plus years later and he couldn’t take the pain any longer.   
This was when I first heard of how many veterans commit suicide daily.  Then recently my cousin found the courage to admit he struggles daily.  We are so proud he is getting help to deal with the  effects of his service.  His mantra is that 22 veterans kill themselves daily and for them he wants to live.  So because of him I am writing this post to educate others.  This isn’t a political post but just pointing out a startling fact.

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We take our freedoms for granted …. We forget those that must kill or be killed in war.  They didn’t join or be drafted to be haunted forever of seeing death surrounding them.  So many soldiers endure years and years of mental torture from doing what their country asked of them.

Great article on the startling fact that 22 veterans commit suicide daily!!  http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/02/05/22-the-number-of-veterans-who-now-commit-suicide-every-day/

As most Americans enjoy fireworks today there will be veterans who will cringe, cry, have flashbacks, and/or nightmares from those sounds.  So be sure to thank our veterans for all they have given up for us!  Always remember just because we don’t see physical effects from war does not mean the mental pain isn’t crushing a veteran … 22 veterans will die each day from that pain!  What can we do as a grateful country to get this number lowered???  Our veterans deserve the best mental health available to have a shot of a normal life after war!

 

Thank you to all current military and veterans that have kept our freedoms intact and our country safe!

We owe you everything!

 

Freedom is the last, best hope of earth. ”— Abraham Lincoln

 

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