June 7, 2019

Dear Readers.....5-27-19

by Douglas Blaine Matthews (author's profile)



Dear Reader,
Hey. I hope you're doing well. Today, I'm going to break from telling you about the events that took place in my life to talk about the importance of today.

Today, in America, it's Memorial Day. A day to reflect and appreciate the sacrifices made by the men and women who have fought, died, are still fighting, and some who are still suffering for the freedom and liberty we have. Honestly, and obviously, they deserve more than that for those who've made it home don't always do so whole. Some are broken. An arm, a leg... A piece of their sanity or personality is left on the battlefield... next to the mangled body of their brother or sister in arms or next to the corpse of the enemy they killed so we could be safe.

They go through hell ten times over anything most of us will ever see in our lifetimes.

They do it because of their honor, their integrity, their courage. For us. They deserve more than a day. They deserve endless appreciation.

No, it doesn't mean that "just" thanking a soldier when you see one. It means showing you appreciate their sacrifice by living a life that makes them proud to have fought for you.

I know what you're thinking: "Who in the hell am I to speak of appreciating those who fought for me?" I lived a life of crime.

I'll answer with this: Because of who they are, I can feel shame and humility. I could have been someone worthy like they are. It's in me, like it's in a lot of us. But I chose the wrong path.

There's a spectrum of life of what we can aim to be and what we can fail to. A soldier is at the highest end of that spectrum. Whether it's a soldier, a parent, your career, we want to do our best. Some of us have enough will to achieve our own personal highest summit. Some do not. I did not.

But this wisdom is still inside me. So, I speak to it.

Just because I failed at what I could have been in life doesn't mean I have to keep failing every time we awake. We have the opportunity to become someone better.

Soldiers... what happens to them when they come home? Some have the help they need to integrate themselves back into civilian life. Some do not.

We've all seen that veterans don't always get what they deserve for their sacrifices. Many suffer in silence. Some, their suffering is so bad that it can't be silenced. What can we do to help them? Shelter, a job, food... Most importantly, love. With love comes the understanding needed to help them properly.

How can we not love someone who fought for me and who is now suffering for me?

The VA (Veteran Affairs) Hospital has been scrutinized for corruption and their inability to treat veterans that need their help. We've all read about it in the paper or seen a news segment about it on TV or heard someone else talking about it. And we think, "That's screwed up! They need to get their act together and help those veterans!"

But words and thoughts are often worth no more than the wind. It takes action to make a difference. And that doesn't just mean buying a sandwich for the veteran holding a sign.

If that's all you can do—awesome. But if you can do more, do more. If you know a place that's hiring, help him/her get that job. Give them your phone number. Become their friend. They're in this predicament because they fought for you!

I was told once by a veteran with a purple heart that a soldier's fight is never over. Some have injuries to their bodies and some have ghosts.

Ask a veteran how you can help them. Even if it's just a conversation, it might make all the difference needed to turn the tide in the life of a veteran who's suffering.

They took the first step.
The next step is ours.
Help a veteran.

Until next time.

Yours truly,

P.S. It doesn't matter what country you're in. A soldier is a soldier who fought for you. Help your veterans!


Replies Replies feed

We will print and mail your reply by . Guidelines

Other posts by this author


Get notifications when new letters or replies are posted!

Posts by Douglas Blaine Matthews: RSS email me
Comments on “Dear Readers.....5-27-19”: RSS email me
Featured posts: RSS email me
All Between the Bars posts: RSS