One of the toughest things about Memorial Day for many people is in remembering the family and friends of those who died in combat fighting for our freedoms. Yet, for as much as they are deserving of our remembrance, there are many who go virtually unnoticed. It’s the ones who return back from war and are left fragmented and disheveled by the ravages of what they’ve endured. Some return missing body parts, broken bones, broken spirits or even a little less of who they were before they left.
According to statistics reported by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 11% of all adult homeless people are veterans. Of that percentage, 45% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively.
Some of the reported contributing factors to these numbers are the lack or shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to healthcare, with a large portion suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).
Remembering these men and women are a must because they are uniquely deserving of our love and compassion, not our shame or pity. They are someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle.
Remembering these veterans is our way of saying thanks for your service. It is another way of showing appreciation for the sacrifices they made to secure a nation in both times of war and peace. Consider some ways this Memorial Day as to how you can remember these soldiers in the same way you remember those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice.
QUESTION: How will you spend this Memorial Day?