If everyone were to read just one of my blogs, this would be the one I would hope it would be. This is not about me right now...it is all about my dad.
My dad is a Vietnam Veteran, a retired Law Enforcement Officer, a pillar in our community, a volunteer of multiple organizations (local to national), a Patriot, a great friend to many, a brother, a widower, and most importantly, MY dad! He is a grandfather of my daughter, my glorious, patriotic, beautiful, loving Heavenly daughter who passed away August 12, 2005. She was 16 (two weeks shy of 17) and an only grandchild to my parents, as I am an only child.
After my daughter passed, my parents traveled quite a bit to volunteer for the Vietnam Veterans of America at the local, state and national level. They made trips to D.C. twice a year and many other places frequently. I would get frustrated at times because they did nothing but work and work and travel!
Fast forward to April 10, 2019 when my dad lost his wife, his best friend for life, my mom. I know the grieving process of my daughter's passing was still present in my dad, now he needs to grieve all over again. After my mom passed, my dad chose not to travel without her. He started going to CBU basketball games twice weekly, softball games frequently, out to lunch weekly with his brothers and whatever he could find to keep his mind occupied. You see, not only was he suffering the loss of his grandchild still and wife, but he also suffers from PTSD. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/
March of 2020, California was shut down for two weeks. Two turned into four, then eight...eight months later we are still pretty much shut down. Everything that my dad utilized to keep his mind occupied was swept out from under him. He was expected to stay in his house alone...him and PTSD. My dad does not complain about it to me, but I can tell when it bothers him thanks to my mom educating me on PTSD.
This blog post is not meant to detail my dad's life story or glorify him to an audience. As Veteran's Day nears, my intent is to educate those that read this, about what I am sure millions of veterans have been suffering through the past eight months. Feeling alone, struggling with your inner thoughts, nightmares, anger, sadness, fear and much, much more. The available resources for veterans are not so available in the majority of 2020. Visiting with a group or a therapist was unavailable for quite some time and may still be in some areas. Of course, there is tele communication appointments, but some veterans need the personal interaction.
Between the years 2005 and 2017, 78,875 veterans and service members took their own lives. The Department of Defense reported that in 2018 service members committed suicide. https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/1972793/dod-releases-report-on-suicide-among-troops-military-family-members/
The data on suicides for veterans in 2018 has not been released by the VA as of right now (just checked VA website again). The national average of veteran/service member suicides is 22 a day. Add a pandemic full of mandated shutdowns, mask wearing and a year of epic events that stress out a sloth, and the national suicide among all citizens has increased over 30% (20% attributed to Military/Veterans) since the CCP Virus was inflicted upon the U.S.
On January 9, 2018 President Trump signed an order that would allow service members to utilize the VA mental health care system for one year immediately upon their discharge from the military. https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/senate-democrats-claim-trump-s-2018-veteran-suicide-prevention-order-was-never-implemented-1.650023 Veteran suicide is at it is highest within the first year of service member to citizen transition. The VA has been criticized for lagging on implementing this order along with releasing 2018 veteran suicide statistics. To think it will be at least two years before we know the 2020 statistics is absurd!
So why I do what I do with this website/blog; I love my dad beyond words. To see him hurt and not be able to continue his grieving process the way he chose to after my mom had passed hurts me to the core. My dad means everything to me, EVERYTHING! I have always stuck up for him and I will continue to fight for him until I AM blue in the face!
I do this all for my country, the United States of America along with every Military Service member that lost their life for my freedom. I do this for every service member that continues to fight for my freedom. I do this for ALL VETERANS that fought for my freedom, and now fight for their own lives!
I do this for my friends and family that care about our country, even my “friends” that have discontinued their communications with me after I became so vocal about my thoughts on the year 2020. I do this all because I can read between the lines and do the research and hope to pass it on to those that do not. I do this because…
IF Harris/Biden are inaugurated In January, let us all see how long the order President Trump signed for Military/Veteran suicide stays into effect. It will be too costly and be pulled to help pay for the billions needed for that free health care you all voted for. But it’s free? No sweeties, nothing is free, not even YOUR freedom!! C'mon On Man! That was paid for the past 159 years in blood, in vain, but you all threw it away!
I hope every person that read this blog from beginning to end really takes the time to think about it, multiple times…