Old Glory

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The ugly truth

So many people in this world aren't truly aware of the nightmare our military face once they return home from war.  I stay close to this mainly because I feel such a connection with all the young men that served with Chad and those that are still serving.  Trust me, I was one of those people that truly did not understand what our veterans deal with as well as those that are still serving once they have experienced war.  I started educating myself when my son, CPL Chad S Wade, enlisted and had his first deployment to Iraq.  I prayed every day he was in Iraq that he would come back the same young man who left.  I was always more worried about his mental state and his heart while deployed that first time than his actual physical safety.  I can't explain why, but that's how it was.  Now, once he deployed to Afghanistan, I will admit my fears were equally shared between the mental and physical safety and at the time I couldn't really explain to myself let alone others as to why I felt that way, but it's apparent now that the Lord was preparing me for the worst.  We were fortunate that Chad had no mental issues after Iraq and he seemed to re-acclimate back into the "real" world pretty well.  He had some adjustments to make right at first, but the Marine Corps and his buddies helped each other through those bumps in the road and made a huge difference.  In addition, Chad not only had an amazing family to support, love, and encourage him he also had his upcoming wedding to focus on.  I do believe all those elements helped him not dwell on what he had experienced in Iraq, but to stay focused on the here and now as well as building a future.  I'm grateful for that.  However, Afghanistan was a different story.  I had a horrible feeling about this deployment from the very beginning and apparently rightfully so.  He had been in his final destination there for 5 weeks when he stepped on an IED and died. I knew his brothers in arms would need their families even more now once they returned to the states (this is when our foundation was born) www.wingsforourtroops.com.  When I read this article today http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/kristof-a-veterans-death-the-nations-shame.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&smid=fb-share it broke my heart.  I want to do something to help these men and women, but I have no clue what to do or how to start so if there are any suggestions out there please share.  My heart is just full of love and pride for these men and women and I just feel like I need to do more to help them.  Even if it's just listening to them, I need to do something to help them.

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