It’s a time of year to remember. His story. Her story. Their story. We remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who bear the scars of injury, either physical or internal. Every battle has a cost. On this day, we join together to pay particular attention to the lessons learned, honouring those who have fallen.
When military members come home from deployment, it is an incredibly important time for them to be supported. Romeo Dallaire has very eloquently articulated the challenge of returning from Rwanda. Following Vietnam, thousands of American soldiers returned home to a nation rocked by politics. Seeking support, many were met with criticism and judgement. Wounded by atrocities overseas, these men and women are doubly injured if they fail to receive the support they need at home. Remembrance Day is a time when we set politics aside in order to extend our gratitude to those who have served.
One of the toughest facts is that it isn’t just on the battlefield where lives are lost. In the US, twenty veterans take their lives each day. In Canada, more Afghanistan veterans have lost their lives to suicide than on the battlefield. Even those who serve at home are at risk with more than half of all military deaths taking place during training exercises. War is complicated and dangerous. Preparing for it, supporting it, and coming home even more so.
Let us remember that although the deployments or service may be over, for many the battle rages on.
We stand behind them and with them, not just on this day, but every day.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong