There are a numerous amount of things that are near and dear to my heart. But the care, concern and livelihood of veterans and service members should be of interest for many of us. Being a U.S. Army Veteran myself make this topic touch home personally.

When we see and identify veterans, we are looking at men and women who have sacrificed their lives for this country. Sometimes when we see these individuals we can see the physical scares, wounds and injuries. But with many of us you can’t see the mental affect that the U.S. Armed Forces has placed on us. And believe when I tell you that we don’t have to go to battle zones in order to suffer from  mental illness.

Many veterans have more than likely served a minimum of two years on active duty. While serving on active duty our bodies and minds can go through major life changing transitions. Just imagine individuals going from their natural civilian habitat to that of an almost 100% structured and controlled life. Now mind you, the discipline and training that they give is designed to equip individuals for any and all military service, including war.

I don’t think any of us can say, (especially in today’s time) that an individual joins the Armed Forces without knowing many of the possible consequences. On the other hand many American civilians don’t have a clue as to what we go through while on active duty and more importantly, what we go through after we serve our time. Depending on one’s selective branch of service, career field, extracurricular activities, deployments and many other things can factor into our short and long term mental and physical condition.

So this is how and why all these reasons resonates with me so well. I am a retired Staff Sergeant of the U.S. Army. I had Basic Training at Ft. Knox, KY., and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Ft. Lee, VA. Basic Training is where the initial (basic) training begins. Let’s define military training before we go any further. Military is defined by Google as: relating to or characteristic of soldiers or armed forces. Google: The first recorded use of the word military in English, spelled militarie, was in 1585. It comes from the Latin militaris (from Latin miles, meaning “soldier”) through French, but is of uncertain etymology, one suggestion being derived from *mil-it- – going in a body or mass. What is a soldier: a person who serves in an army, fighter, trooper, serviceman, servicewoman; warrior; GI; peacekeeper; archaicman-at-arms. This is my definition in laments terms: reconditioning of the mind and body of any and all members of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Let me make this statement plain and clear: “I don’t expect civilians to understand or know what veterans and service members go through, if many veterans who are in positions of hope for us (forget or don’t genuinely care), don’t understand or know what we go through.” This is by far another blog and discussion by itself, in which I will most definitely oblige in the future.

The main point I would like for all to focus on now is, we as veterans and service members have done and are actively doing our parts to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and should be treated accordingly by any and all military and government entities i.e., Veterans Administration Hospitals, V.A. Claims Divisions, and all levels of city, state & local governments. This is by far in many instances JUST NOT THE CASE.

My goal for this portion of my writing is to make it known to all as many horror stories as possible from Service Members and Veterans from all over the world so we can eventually get these things into the hands of people in positions that are willing to make a difference. Stay tuned to hear from your American Heroes.