Happy Veteran's Day!
Some months back, a Facebook friend forwarded an article to me that he had seen in the news and that pertained to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The title of the article asked, "Is America Still Fighting the War on Terror?"
My friend forwarded the article with the following comment. He said, "No. America is not fighting the war on terror. The United States Marines are. America is at the mall."
I confess that I pretty much agree with that sentiment.
Today is Veteran's Day. All else set aside, today is the day to acknowledge the sacrifice of America's former and current members of the military.....and the sacrifices of their families.
Two recent titles by Georgia authors do just that.
Dear Baby, I'm Watching Over You (just released in October) is a children's book for ages 2-8 years old. The book was written by Carol Casey, and is illustrated by the talented Georgia artist, Mark Braught. The target audience of this picture book is the young children of military personnel serving away from home.
Think about it for a moment. Or all day today.
One of Braught's illustrations has a Navy seaman looking out to sea from the deck of his ship. He's looking out over the ocean at a star filled night.
"I'm sure you wonder why I'm away for a birthday, game, or holiday."
Here are the dedications from the book:
To U.S. service men, women, and veterans, and to your families. Thank you for your patriotism and sacrifices, and for watching over all of our children. ---Carol Casey
For those that believe in, patriotically serve and sacrifice for our way of life so we may enjoy the same. Thank you. --Mark Braught
The next title is from former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and just hit the bookshelves this fall. The book is Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis, and is co-written with Susan Golant and Kathryn Cade.
Mrs. Carter is an acknowledged powerhouse when it comes to mental health advocacy. Of the many topics that she discusses in her new book, she takes special pains to address the mental health needs of America's veterans and their families, and how woefully short we fall as a nation in meeting those needs. She devotes a considerable amount of the discussion to the issue of PTSD. The numbers are terrible.
Mrs. Carter sums up her message, We support our troops in the field, but it is critical that we continue to support them when they come home.
There is an interesting parallel to be drawn here. Like terrorism, mental illness is a heartless, indiscriminate, destructive force. And Mrs. Carter is the equivalent of an Army Ranger.
Remember your veterans today, and their families.
Postscript: To Specialist Castro. If you see this, here's wishing you and your comrades a safe and speedy return home to your families. We look forward to your return, as your father will be moving to the minors next season and our daughter is in need of a quality softball coach.