Today is Veteran’s Day in the US, and as the spouse of a veteran (Iraq); daughter of a veteran (Vietnam); daughter-in-law of veterans (Desert Storm); and granddaughter of veterans (World War II), not to mention the friend and colleague of many who have deployed or are currently deployed (like our dear friend, Candace), I try each year to think about the best way to reflect on the day. Our plan for this morning was to pay our respects at Arlington, but with this happening in DC today, the crowds and traffic are too daunting, so we will go one evening this week.
I’d like to call your attention to a site I just caught wind of: War Ink. It’s a powerful multimedia exhibit of veterans’ stories, as told via their tattoos. “War Ink emerged out of a need to recognize veterans’ service and sacrifices and to bridge the divide between the veterans and civilian communities. This is both exhibit and forum, using tattoos as a springboard for California veterans to share their stories. Stark, beautiful, disturbing, and often darkly humorous, these tattoos are visual expression of memories and emotions that can be difficult to discuss openly.” It’s something, scrolling through their stories; I’d encourage you to take a few moments to explore the exhibit yourself. For me, it was an excellent way to reflect.
Something else to consider: according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), in a survey they did of their members, 40% knew an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who had committed suicide. Support IAVA’s petition to pass the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which will eliminate barriers to quality mental healthcare for vets. They need less than a thousand more signatures in the next 6 weeks; if every FHO subscriber signed they would easily surpass their goal.
Thank you, to all who have served…