Our country's focus has been on a struggling economy, unemployment, a divisive election and a Congress that cannot seem to compromise. A devastating hurricane hit the East Coast and the damage it inflicted has added to despair and hopelessness that so many people in America are feeling. These issues are important issues and without a doubt, deserve the attention they are getting. However, there is another population of people who have been forgotten in our news — our military men and women who are still serving in the Middle East.
These men and women accept they must serve wherever they are told to go. The very least our country can do is give them assurance that they are on the minds of our Congress and our country. War is cruel , our country alone has suffered the loss of more than 6,600 men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, more than 40,000 have been wounded in action. These numbers do not take into account the invisible wounds of coping with multiple deployments, domestic issues, homelessness, mental issues, unemployment, suicides and so forth. Our military families must deal with the issues that come with their veterans coming home, dealing with the grief and loss of a fallen loved one, keeping a family intact and functioning when a husband or wife is deployed.
No, it isn't exactly the type of reading that most of America wants with their morning coffee. It isn't comfortable to see it on television or in the newspaper, but it is the sad reality that our war veterans have faced in previous wars and continue to face today. I personally wish more people would be uncomfortable with it, because if more people were, maybe this country would think twice before entering a war. If it were a perfect world, all the news would be happy and there would be no suffering, but the world is not perfect and neither is war. The very reason our media should be covering this war until all our troops come home. And, when they do, I hope they follow the stories of these veterans and their families so they can see that a war never truly ends. For so many, the fight continues many years later. I can't count how many times I've been asked "whatever made you want to write about the military, war and veterans? Don't you find it depressing and sad?" I've been writing about veterans since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. No, it isn't easy to write about their struggles and the fallen. The stories I write about weigh heavily on my heart. Since I was a little girl during the Vietnam War, the plight of our nation's veterans has been with me. These unique men and women have held a special place in my heart. My hope was that I could share with readers the men and women that I have had the honor of knowing, for they do a job that the majority of us would not do.
Sadly, many of you might have missed this recent news, but I would like to remember three Army Reservists who lost their lives last weekend, Staff Sgt. Dain Venne, Spc. Ryan Jayne, and Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz from New York. They and all our fallen and our veterans are the reason for Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. I hope you will take time to remember them all. Let's keep our troops in the news America, they deserve it.
Donna Teresa can be reached at email@example.com