Each day I take a moment and try to scroll through my friend’s on Facebook. I’m very fortunate to have many friends, but the disadvantage to having many friends is it’s hard to read the thoughts of each person.
Today I happened to catch a “scroll” from a friend who had just posted that a Veteran Marine who served with his son, took his life. His post read:
Yesterday a young USMC veteran took his own life. He was having trouble dealing with what he had experienced 7 years ago in Iraq. My son served with this young man and today, found this article posted on the young mans FB page. (See Link below) http://www.esquire.com/features/essay/ESQ0307ESSAY-3?src=soc_fcbks
We take them at 18, strip them of self, turn them into warriors and when done with them, send them away and wonder why they have trouble coping. I am sharing this NOT to start a political battle but as a concerned father of one of those warriors. A young man whom could have been helped died needlessly and that sickens me.
When I finished reading his post, I turned off Facebook, and spent the rest of today thinking about that. My son was a Marine, and he too served in Iraq. We were lucky to have him come home, and he was lucky to have family to come home too. I’ve met many who have joined the different branches of service because they had no family and wanted to become a part of one.
What I’ve been seeing is that these young men and women become so attached to each other when they serve. They are taught to protect the freedom of my country, but the reality is when they each go off to war, they are fighting for the protection of each other.
My favorite movie of all time is White Christmas. It’s about a general who retires, and after he’s been out of the Army for a while he realizes that he misses his “family.” He no longer feels useful carrying in firewood, but wants to go and protect the men he was leading into battle. The general tries to enlist again, but then is told that he’s too old and no longer needed, and there is where the general questions his worth.
Within the movie they sing the song: What Can You Do With A General, Written by: Irving Berlin, and it goes…
When the war was over, why, there were jobs galore
For the G.I. Josephs who were in the war
But for generals things were not so grand
And it’s not so hard to understand
What can you do with a general
When he stops being a general?
Oh, what can you do with a general who retires?
Who’s got a job for a general
When he stops being a general?
They all get a job but a general no one hires
They fill his chest with medals while he’s across the foam
And they spread the crimson carpet when he comes marching home
The next day someone hollers when he comes into view
“Here comes the general” and they all say “General who?”
They’re delighted that he came
But they can’t recall his name
Nobody thinks of assigning him
When they stop wining and dining him
It seems this country never has enjoyed
So many one and two and three and four star generals
Whenever I hear of a young man committing suicide after serving my country I immediately think of the song. There’s nothing worse than someone not knowing what to do next, when they’ve been trained to do something they can no longer do. Then I started thinking about when my son enlisted he went to Boot Camp to be trained to go and serve his country, but when he got out, he was thanked for his service. I believe what needs to happen is each person who serves, needs to be REBOOTED back. I know they will never be the same again, for each experience changes our lives forever, but the military could take these young men and women and not let them return home, until they’ve graduated from REBOOT CAMP!
The interesting part of today was since I kept thinking about the word “REBOOT” God put it on my heart to google it, and I was so happy when I saw that there are those who understand the importance of: REBOOTING!
There are many more organizations that seem to be trying to REBOOT all those we love. The trick now, is we all need to make sure that those we know, who are returning from the service, know that help is out there, and they are not forgotten.
GOD BLESS THOSE WHO SERVE. MAY THEIR HEARTS KNOW THEY ARE LOVED AND NOT FORGOTTEN!
And always remember that one doesn’t have to be in prison to be… in prison.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3
ONWARD BY FAITH!