One of my friends returned yesterday from his high school buddy’s funeral. His friend was a Lt.Col. in the Army and an accomplished orthopedic surgeon specializing in the spine. This Lt.Col made one tour to Iraq. As a surgeon I can not imagine the traumas that he personally witnessed. Imagine the number of times he must have been up to his elbows in soldiers body parts. Honestly, just sitting here typing on this keyboard and thinking about it is making me a little ill.
Lt.Col. committed suicide this last week. He leaves behind a wife and two very young daughters. Normally I would rant about what cowards and how selfish people who commit suicide are. But thinking about the hundreds of wounded people Lt.Col. worked on and watching some make it and other not being so fortunate…. I just can not comprehend what that must do to a person’s mind and heart.
Recent reports state that there were one hundred-forty-seven military suicides just last year! That’s nearly THREE every single week of the year!! How tragic for all those involved with these broken lives. The torment in the individuals and the families that must lead to the culmination of a decorated hero finally determining that the only peace they will ever experience is that in death… to me it’s just unfathomable.
I know our family went through a million “What ifs”. How much more so for the families of the hundreds of families of the military member who found peace in death.
My heart goes out to those widows and widowers, to the sons and daughters, to the mothers and fathers, to the aunts and uncles, to the brothers and sisters, to the grandmothers and grandfathers and of course to those who were to be wed.
Thank you for serving in our defense. I pray you found the peace that was so illusive after your return from the battle field.
May the Lord, God Almighty (somehow) guide and comfort those left in the wake of the war torn families.