Monday letters: Veterans have earned our help

05/26/2014 12:00 AM

05/23/2014 2:08 PM

Columbia, SC Why is it that so many of the men and women who fought for our country can’t enjoy patriotic fireworks without finding themselves anxious and afraid? Why is it that more veterans of current wars die of suicide than of combat violence?

They fought. They risked their lives. They survived. Just to come home, to struggle, to die. Every 65 minutes, a life is lost. Not in the battle zone, but in the safety of their homes.

That’s not right.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is debilitating, with symptoms that are emotional, physical and psychological. Many veterans are diagnosed with PTSD. Since 2001, the rate of military suicide has increased by 150 percent.

We’ve spent trillions of dollars to send these men and women into war zones to fight on our behalf. Shouldn’t we do whatever is needed and spend as much as necessary to provide the best care possible for them when they return?

Something’s not right. But we can change that. Just reach out. Make a difference. They risked their lives for us; we can help them live on.

Grace Smith


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