For 2017

"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Long Walk Home

Something happened on Friday. I have United Health Insurance and one of the programs they have is called a Wellcare Program. If you have a disease like asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc and if you follow through with your doctor and get your regular check ups - a nurse from the Wellcare - mine is Peggy - will call you. If you follow the program and do what is required the medicine for your condition is free.

I've had Peggy for a couple years and I hadn't received a call from her for a few months. When she called me Friday we talked as usual. Then I said to her that it felt like she was gone for awhile. She said yes - she had been out on personal leave - for a death in her family. So being Chatty I told her I was sorry and that I knew it must be hard. Then she told me it was her son.

He was 31 years old. Had just got done with his tour of duty. He had been home only a couple of months.

We talked more and she told me some things I didn't know and wanted to share them with you.

Her son committed suicide. He suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. You can suffer from PTSD from other issues too. The odd thing was I just finished a book on PTSD. I'm taking notes on PTSD and will put the information on my side page.

She was in touch with a man named Ron Zuleski. He leads a program called - The Long Walk Home. He was coming to Georgia and was going to talk at her church. Please check this site out - extremely interesting.

"As of June 1, 2010, RON IS WALKING BAREFOOT ACROSS AMERICA,
wearing his sign saying 18 VETS A DAY COMMIT SUICIDE; he is willing to do whatever it takes to raise awareness about this epidemic, to get your help for veterans’ well-being, and to tell our elected officials what we want done about it."

That was June 1, 2010 - Peggy told me the number today is 27. 27 vets a day commit suicide. Can you believe that? That is more then the number of men and women going into the armed services per day.

Why do I bring this up on Sunday? Because we need to pray for these gals and guys. I prayed for them when they left for their tour. I prayed while they are on their tour. And I am thankful for them! But pray for them after they got home - is something I didn't think about. I thought they would be happy to come home. But they have all this stress they carry home with them - just like our guys did from Viet Nam War and I imagine all other wars as well.

So I'm going to start praying for them when they get home as well. Please join me.



"We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together." ~ Gerald R. Ford
Together is the key word here.


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37 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Sandie...That is a very sad and upsetting statistic, to be sure. Thanks for bringing awareness to this tragedy of our nation. Susan

BECKY said...

So sad. This is the kind of news that the TV stations don't report. We also barely hear about all the wounded vets who come home, with body parts missing. It's a very sad, disturbing scenario.
Also, I can't imagine the sorrow and anger Peggy must feel that her son made it back home from a war, only to end his life at home....

TexWisGirl said...

what a great message to share. i'm so sorry for your friend's loss...

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

This just breaks my heart. Our prayers are the least we can do... and the most we can do. Thank you for sharing this. May God bless and comfort Peggy. t.

Pat MacKenzie said...

That is so sad. What must they go through to end up feeling that they can't go on living. i hope the government provides de-stressing programs for them, or whatever it takes to make them feel that their life is worth living.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Sandie thank you for sharing this today! I knew suicide was a problem with returning Vets but not in these numbers. I remember when my Dad returned from Viet Nam and how hard it was for him. Now I look at all these young men and women and pray for them during their tours and when they come home!
hugs, Linda

Carol said...

Thank you for opening my eyes to what is going on. I had no idea. How VERY sad. Carol

Sandra said...

i knew it was a problem but not how many commit suicide. my husbands nephew at 25, was in a jeep in Irag that ran over an IED. everyone in the Jeep was killed, his friends and his Lt, his right arm and hand were almost blown off, and he was full of shrapnel. he was given a medical discharge and has been through many surgeries. he is unable to hold a job from pain and from the memories and is back home living with his mother. this is a serious problem, thanks for the information and i will pray

The Brown Recluse said...

Sandie, this is incredibly sad. I had no clue, and I apprecite the information.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

This is so sad.
Our hearts go out to then family.
And of course our hearts are always with our vets.
Thank you for sharing this
love
tweedles

Sally said...

So very sad. I'm sorry for your friend, and pray for the many who suffer from PTSD. I have a friend whose son has this, but thankfully suicide didn't happen.

I can only imagine how difficult that long road home can be. :(

The Quintessential Magpie said...

How awful for this mother. I'm so sorry for her and for all the family members who suffer through suicide.

This is an interesting statistic, Sandie. I think it definitely deserves to be studied. I have had two family members serving multiple tours of duty between them, and my heart is for these vets.

XO,

Sheila

Knitty said...

A very important post today. Thank you.

A Quiet Corner said...

Oh, Kiddo, I am so sorry for your nurse/friend. I know someone with PTSD and it's a rough road to be on without the support of others. Thanks for joining in to help...:)JP

Michaele said...

Thanks for putting this on your blog! Something more than therapy is needed, in the meantime, prayer.

Linda O'Connell said...

This is almost epidemic I've heard. Missouri Writer's Guild is doing an anthology called The Warriors Project for these vets, so their voices can be heard. it is very sad. Thakjs for making others aware.

Patti said...

Oh, that is horribly sad....about Peggy's son and the statistics. We definitely owe our servicemen and women a debt of gratitude. The battlefront may be for only a time, but, sadly, they may live with the consequences for years. Thank you for bringing atention to this.

Love,
Patti

Ann said...

Outstanding message today Sandie, thank you so much for posting about it. The statistics are alarming and very sad.
My son came home from Iraq a very different person. The changes were not for the better. Luckily he was diagnosed with PTSD and got the help he needed. I'm convinced that had he not gotten help he would have ended up either in jail or dead.
A prayer a day for our returning service members is the least we can do for them

Cheri said...

This gave me goose bumps to watch. As you know our SIL is in the Army and has been deployed 4 times and will be leaving again this Wed., he has never displayed bouts of depression and I think that stems from a good family/friend base he has at home...but please keep him in your prayers as he goes into some really horrific places that we can only imagine.

Jeanie said...

Such a sad and important thing to share, Sandie. Like many, I knew it was a problem but I didn't know the extent of it. I hope it will start getting the attention it needs.

Sharon said...

Sandie - What a great message. And one that we really need to hear. Our family CPA is a VietNam vet - and he has told us stories of his time in Nam, and the terrible things he went through when he returned home. He spoke of the loneliness, the flashbacks, the feeling that normal life was anything but normal.

Oh, how my heart goes out to Peggy. Will continue to be praying for her, and for all the men and women who gave up so much to serve the cause of freedom. May we do EVERYTHING we can to help them ease back into civilian life. And may God reach their broken and traumatized hearts.

Ginny said...

I remember a man walking for this a year or two ago, I think I even might have done a post on it, it must be the same man...I have always thought it is shameful the way vets are treated in this country. How many kill themselves each day is shocking!!!!!

Angela said...

That is just heartbreaking Sandie. I'm so sorry for your nurse Peggy. I just can't imagine. I had no idea that that many were committing suicide when they get back. They do need our prayers. I always want to cry when I seen men or women in uniform when I'm out.

Hugs,
Angela

Sharon said...

Great post, Sandie! Thanks for sharing.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Absolutely, Sandie. I pray for our soldiers constantly --and have read alot about what is happening to them, once they get home. So sad.... We take care of illegals --but can't take care of those people who have fought to protect our freedoms.. Sad, isn't it?????

Hugs,
Betsy

Love Of Quilts said...

This is just heart breaking to hear I had no Idea. Trish

Sush said...

It is so very sad...but I think it has been an undiagnosed problem though the years. I know from stories of how my Dad and my Father-in-law and many of their veteran friends from WWII, they too had PTSS. Late in life it seemed prevalent that it would come back forcefully in their life. We need to be praying for veterans of All wars.

Thanks~

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Thanks for sharing - I know a lot about PTSD and various treatments but I didn't realize the suicide rate for vets was so high. I have a friend that runs an equine therapy place that does some amazing therapy with vets using horses.

Buttercup said...

I'm adding my prayers, especially for Peggy and her family.

Granny Annie said...

Your nurse Peggy is suffering the most difficult challenge of a parent. A child's suicide is never reconciled and I feel for her greatly. PTSD is a serious ailment for many of our returning vets which makes it even more amazing that so many veterans return and become active and contributing members of society who are able to adjust on re-entry. We need to support and pray for all of them because each carries experiences that we can never know.

Furry Bottoms said...

They're saying up here that more soldiers die from suicide now than overseas. I find something very wrong with that picture. Something needs to be done about that!

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

This message so needed to be said. Thank you for posting it. We live in a Marine base town. My husband works on base. All over the base there are signs of PTSD and suicide prevention. Sadly, along with PTSD comes spousal abuse. It is rampent in the military. There is help for both, but not everyone knows it or takes advatage of it. Maybe one person can be saved today.

Thisisme. said...

Very good post today, to remind us all of these sad statistics. I will join your prayers, and also for Peggy and her poor son. So sad. There was a programme on here in England last week and, although we hear about all the young men that are killed over in Afghanistan, we don't always know that there are hundreds and hundreds that come home horrible injured, with one or two limbs missing. Goodness knows what they are going through. Great post my friend.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

That is so Sad! Such a loss for a Veteran....and his Mom

Debbie said...

Sandie, this broke my heart. I am so glad that you shared this, and I now know that my prayers need to continue long after our brave ones are home.

I'm passing this along.

Doris Sturm said...

This is very, very sad! ...but it does not surprise me to hear that it happens so much because I have always felt sending a person to war and to kill is cruel and unusual punishment. Not everyone is cut out to kill - even in self-defense. It still changes a person! Very sad! I wonder if the human race will ever get over war?

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I believe we'd be surprised to know how many of the homeless on the streets are veterans. I see them holding up signs. I made the decision to give them a few bucks if I could do so safely without having them step into a lane of traffic, holding up cars behind me, etc. Yes, I know they might not be legitimate, but I figure that's between them and God. You're right...we need to remember them all in our prayers.