Life isn’t fair.  Some are lucky and some are not.  Some are born in the United States and some are born in Africa.  Some are born into Christianity and some are born into Islam.  Some live their lives in Nikes and some in bare feet.  Some should be glad and some should be angry.  Some have iPads and some have nothing.  Some travel and some go nowhere.  Some are rich and some are poor.  Why are there slums?

We send our sons to fight wars to protect our shores.  It has to be done … or you have your head in the sand or in your social network looking down.  In the military these sons bond intensely in ways we do not know.  It is the finest of wines.  It is idealism in the raw.  When a life is lost it is like a baby being ripped from a womb.  Multiple combat tours with the same unit forges courage and knowledge in an intimacy that is foreign to most.  Living the extremes of trust.

IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) have made it all the more absurd and difficult for the participants.  Lost limbs and lives in an instant.  The victim who lives is almost worse off.  Sent home.  No more responsibility for his buddies.  A nightmare of pretense and bad dreams lies ahead.

Veterans don’t talk about what they saw as we would not understand, much less appreciate.  So the silent prison forms.  Peers are no longer that.  Jobs are very difficult to find.  The new combat is with the bureaucracies.   Self lost in the mountain of forms and databases.  No one hires.  Interviews are fewer and less comfortable.  Pride diminished.  A life feels lost.

Why are veteran suicides greater than combat deaths?

There should be a quota for all businesses to hire veterans.  They put it all on the line for us.  Why can’t we for them?

Let’s take their tragic decision away from them.


Chris Bent
Naples, FL

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