Veterans tribute [Image 7 of 14]

“Nations customarily measure the “cost of war” in dollars, lost production, or the number of soldiers killed or wounded. Rarely do military establishments attempt to measure the cost of war in terms of individual human suffering. Psychiatric breakdown remains one of the costly items of war when expressed in human terms.”

Today is Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. Similar types of memorial days are being observed in many countries around the world to recognize and to honor those who sacrificed so much in so many wars. Yesterday, I quoted a poem by Laurence Binyon on this subject.

Today, I turn to an excerpt from Richard Gabriel’s book, No More Heroes: Madness and Psychiatry In War. I am certainly not discounting the sacrifices made by those brave soldiers who did make it home. I am not downplaying the tragic experiences of those who come back wounded or injured. However, there are many more wounds that are largely invisible and can go by unnoticed.

You may have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes called “shell shock” in a military context, it is a profound psychological disorder that can impact someone’s life for years after the initial traumatic event. Being thrown into the calamities of war and having to witness such atrocities can have a very lasting effect. Let’s not forget about this cost of war. Let’s not forget that veterans can continue to suffer well after the battle. Let’s offer them our support.

If you see a veteran today, or any day, be sure to thank them for their service. They deserve at least that much.