Honoring Veterans Means Changing the System That Cares for Them

You are appreciated and loved, but this country owes you more

Trudi Griffin

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Photo by Holly Mindrup on Unsplash

The sacrifices veterans make for everyone in this country warrant far more than one day of appreciation per year and small percentages off goods and services.

This country bears responsibility and must be held accountable. We need the military, and I, for one, am a grateful citizen knowing there are people far more courageous than I who ensure our freedom. However, the young men and women indoctrinated into military culture, killing to keep this country safe, living in remote parts of the world away from their families, are left hanging once their usefulness ends.

That is wrong.

Citizens of this country demand equity and protection, yet the people charged with the most dangerous calling in the nation are at ridiculous risks of physical and mental health problems, unemployment, substance use, homelessness, and suicide. They leave their families for months and years at a time, and kids grow up without a parent there for them.

When veterans seek help for these things, the bureaucracy of the VA takes precedence over ensuring a service member and his or her family are treated well.

During active duty, the mantra is “don’t admit you’re hurt or you’ll get kicked out.” It backfires for veterans, “well, if you didn’t report it while active duty, it doesn’t count as service-connected.” After service and sacrifice, instead of “how can we make your life better?” the response from the VA is “how can this institution save money by using the cheapest methods possible?”

“Thank you for your service” is not how we honor veterans.

We honor them by changing the VA so that veterans have the best health care in the nation, not the worst.

We do it freely and generously, so it is not a chore or a humiliating experience.

We proactively provide care to overcome the training they received about not asking for help and pushing through the pain because there are people worse off than you.

We show our appreciation by the way we care for them, and we’re not…

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Trudi Griffin

Shining light in the darkness with words. Devoted to Jesus. Wife of a warrior. Small business owner. tenshimadeshop.etsy.com