I, Steven, a slave of Christ and former servant to these United States, appeal to you my brothers and sisters. We just observed Memorial Day. It's a day not about those who served, but a day to remember the fallen. I often reflect on my days with former Brothers in Arms who died serving for our freedoms. It is such a tragedy that they did not return home. I hold them dear to my heart.
Today, though, I want to talk about another kind of “fallen” soldier. These are soldiers who served our country with honor and offered their lives to our nation, but they did return home. And while we are thankful for their safe return, we must note that they returned home as much different people. They did not nearly resemble the individuals they were when they left the security of their homes. I know this first hand, because I am not the same as I was when made that journey.
We as a society often forget about the emotional and mental wounds, the trauma, even sexual assault, that can be associated with combat. As you can imagine, the wounds left by these experiences can be crippling. Many times they are left undiagnosed. Instead, a veteran may try to self-medicate. He or she may turn to drugs, alcohol or take part in other destructive behaviors.
Many of these veterans, if left to their own devices, end up homeless -- or worse -- dead. Shockingly, as many as 22 veterans a day commit suicide!
So, here is my appeal: can you help with your prayers? And, if you are so led, maybe you can go even further. There is a great organization called Mission 22. They are “United in the War Against Veteran Suicide”. You can find out more about them and donate by clicking HERE