Haunting Memories

Memorial Day is upon us. Today, countless ceremonies will take place honoring the men and women in uniform who have served this country in past and current wars. We pay special tribute honoring the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Memorial Day, for most of us, comes once a year. However, for many of our veterans, every day is a kind of Memorial Day; they continue to live with the haunting memories in the aftermath of war.

We owe them more than platitudes and parades. We owe them proper care and better benefits. When Congress works on a budget, (this means you, Paul Ryan) it needs to include provisions for job training, mental health care, housing and education assistance for the people who serve — not the Pentagon. The people who fight for us should know that lawmakers are fighting for their their rights and rewards.

Instead, we have people so disillusioned that in a recent protest born of frustration and absolute disgust, over 40 Iraq and Afhghanistan war veterans hurled their medals back at a NATO summit:

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Real patriotism needs to be more than just empty rhetoric and pompous political posturing. Congress needs to act and vote on behalf of those who serve with all deliberate speed and purposeful action to right these wrongs.

George Carlin, rest his soul, was right: enough with the euphemisms. Take steps to help treat the men and women who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder so they no longer need to suffer from the haunting memories of the wars we send them off to fight for us. If you want to honor them, please do so every day — not just on Memorial Day.