Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you, vets


dad’s dog tag

I found my father’s dog tag about a year ago when we were giving the house a good top-to-bottom cleaning. I hardly ever take it off.

I don’t quite remember when I received it but at that point, I had no interest in wearing it - I just wanted it because it was his.

Because he went to Vietnam and survived.

I know there aren’t a lot of people who can say that.

I think about that a lot… especially now that this little piece of metal sits next to my skin every day.

I don’t need the calendar to tell me to thank those that are willing to give or have given their lives to protect me. On a day like today, the outpouring of support is touching, but it’s fleeting… and it’s just a shame that not ALL the vets get recognized.

I always take it hard when I find out that good friends are suicidal / have actually succeeded in their attempts. Some affect me more than others…

Five years ago, on November 5th, my friend, Pelkey, put a bullet in his chest. I think he has a right to be recognized for his efforts as a member of the military and to be declared a casualty of war. I’m not alone—his wife has been working tirelessly to get vets with PTSD the help they so badly need, the help that Pelkey couldn’t get in time.

From the Iraq War Heroes website (emphasis mine): Mrs. Pelkey’s husband, Captain Michael Jon Pelkey, died on November 5, 2004 from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest after being diagnosed with PTSD. Pelkey wants to tell her story to help the many soldiers who are suffering from this disorder, and to request that her husband be declared a casualty of war… “I don’t want my Michael to have died in vain. He had a purpose in this life and that was to watch over his soldiers. I intend to keep helping him do so by spreading our story. My husband died of wounds sustained in battle. That is the bottom line. The war does not end when they come home.”

So thank the living vets and casualties of wars all you want, I will too… but don’t forget those that suffer / suffered from PTSD. They deserve to be recognized for their service to this country, too.


Posted by Matty on 11/11 at 01:40 PM