In today’s media, we can’t seem to go a single day without hearing mention of war. Whether through a news broadcast, a social-media meme, or through the violent interactions in the video-game arena, war is all around us. It has become a part of our lives, and on most days we are numb to the lingering sting that is always present. It has become a background noise; a forgotten cancer. But it is there, claiming the lives of the seemingly unending supply of government-issued soldiers who bravely stand in harms way.
Today, it is easy to dismiss the consequences of war, or to demonize the soldiers who have participated. With countless political causes, deceptions and lies, and horrific images and propaganda from the battlefield that float across our screens, we can easily build platforms against these conflicts and those who participate in them. Although these issues deserve to be thoroughly explored in hopes of preventing future conflict and loss of life, on this Memorial Day, I ask that we look beyond our political and philosophical beliefs. I ask that we take down our protective filters and take pause from our barbecues and social gatherings. I ask that we remember those who gave their lives – not in the name of a political cause or a misguided agenda – but in the name, belief, and love of the United States of America.
The Cost of Freedom:
Freedom comes with a heavy responsibility and a high cost. As a veteran, I have gotten to know many other veterans and service members who understood all too well those high costs, yet willingly placed themselves in harms way. There exists, among the service members, a great love: A love for their country and the freedom it represents, a love for their families who wait nervously for their return, and a love for their fellow service members, who risk their lives to represent not only these values, but to protect one-another as well. Many never return home to feel the soil of their homeland beneath their feet. The open arms of their waiting loved ones are greeted with folded flags and empty dreams while a nation at war passes judgment and blame as more lives are lost and damaged.
For those who do make it home, their lives are forever changed: Their jobs have been filled, some marriages are in ruin, their healthcare system does not value them, and society does not understand them. For many of these patriots, who risked everything to stand for their belief in Freedom and Country, they find themselves no longer welcome in the home they fought to return to. With depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and a terrible sense of loneliness flooded with flashbacks of blood, death, and fear, their war has just begun. The death toll continues to rise, and although they may no longer be deployed to dangerous-foreign lands, the memories of these places rages on in their minds as they fight their final battle and end it all.
22 a Day is 22 Too Many!
22 a day, according to StopSoldierSuicide.org, take their own lives. 22 a day who lose their personal battles for their service to our nation. Something is terribly wrong, and something needs to change. Fortunately, there is something you can do to help. As a veteran and an author, I am proud to be a part of the Memorial Day 2015: Gone but not Forgotten! fundraiser where I am pledging 100% of all proceeds made from the sales of all of my books from May 22 – May 29, 2015, to StopSoldierSuicide.org. I am among over 70 authors making similar pledges to other veterans’ organizations. For simply purchasing one of our books, you will also be donating to organizations that support those who once donated everything they had. For more information about this event and a list of all participating authors and books, please click HERE.
I am pledging 100% of all royalties made from sales of the following 4 books between May 22 – May 29, 2015 to StopSoldierSuicide.org