A Sacrifice More Than What We KnowMarch 16, 2011 Marina Y Sanchez Freelance Columnist
We all can agree that the ultimate sacrifice is that of our soldiers. They give us the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so we can continue to live in nation as free thinkers, doers, and believers. Our soldiers choose to go overseas, to go to war and combat because the idea for freedom is not just for the present but future generations to continue to live this dream.
How can you say thank you to that? How can you show your appreciation? Most of us are people who wouldn’t think twice of giving our lives for our loved ones and family members. Just think of the thousands of soldiers that are sacrificing their time, their family, and their lives for people they don’t even know. It’s awe-inspiring!
We honor them as much as we can. We show them the utmost respect. We treasure them.
Yet, we need to remember that this sacrifice they give us is something that they pay have to live with for the rest of their lives. Despite the fact, that they take the chance of losing their lives, they also have to face many obstacles and health issues we may not be aware of.
1 in 8 soldiers suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.). There was a study done in 2004 of troops who fought in Iraq. Furthermore, the survey also showed that less than half of those with problems sought help, mostly out of fear of being stigmatized or hurting their careers.
What is particular in concern are those that are not seeking treatment.
Once called shell shock or combat fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder can develop after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of detachment, irritability, trouble concentrating and sleeplessness. It affects many army families after the return of the family soldier. Because for a long time it was so misunderstood, many families fell apart.
In this particular study of 6,201 service members, the researchers surveyed four different groups: Army brigades before they went to Iraq, after six months in Afghanistan and after eight months in Iraq; and Marine battalions after six months in Iraq.
Only active-duty combat troops were questioned.
Symptoms of major depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder were reported by 16 percent to 17 percent of those who served in Iraq, 11 percent of those who were in Afghanistan and 9 percent questioned before they left.
The differences were greatest for post-traumatic stress disorder with about twice as many with PTSD after Iraq (12 percent) than Afghanistan (6 percent). Before deployment, the rate was 5 percent, about the same as the general U.S. population.
The troops in Iraq saw more combat, including firefights and attacks, than those in Afghanistan. The Iraq units took part in the early fighting of the war.
Just think this study was done 2004. How do you think it fares now?
Think of all the veterans from older wars like Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. Veterans were in homeless hostels for a number of reasons: alcoholism; broken marriages; depression; physical disability from combat. But perhaps the most fundamental problem was despair with life, due to an inability to cope with civvy street, where they often felt abandoned and misunderstood. This was true with even their closest family and friends, with whom many of them could no longer connect after experiencing the trauma of war.
Now there are programs, work shops for families, and other different types of aides for out soldiers and their families.
In any way or another, our soldiers and their families need our love and support. Without question, they have done it for us.
This ultimate sacrifices has robbed many from a life.
Next time you see a soldier, thank them. Support all and anything that aids and assists our soldiers. It’s probably the only gift we could give them.