If you don’t have time to read David Finkel’s terrific book Thank you for Your Service about what happens to the men and women when they return from war, take time to listen to this great segment from WBUR the NPR station out of Boston called “The Invisible Front.” Both the book and this radio segment explore the mental health challenges warriors face when returning home to their families who have had to make do without them. It is a huge culture shock when their lives are no longer expected to be one huge rush of adrenalin. Finkle, is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow, and the radio segment includes a General who lost two sons due to their military service. Finkel writes, “..the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, which have created some 500,000 mentally wounded American veterans.”
If you think this doesn’t touch your life think again and read up on how many homeless people in our country are indeed veterans. Open your eyes to those around you who suffer behind closed doors to reorient themselves to their family and home lives after their military service. It is a sometimes hidden issue of significance to all of us if we are willing to face these tragedies and work to help them to heal.