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Memorial Day - Time to Remember Our Fallen Soldiers
Memorial Day became a national day of remembrance due to the efforts of wives and mothers of fallen soldiers. Civil War widows lobbied for many years until "Decoration Day" now called Memorial Day was proclaimed in 1868. The mothers, sisters, and daughters who lost loved ones didn't want America to forget the painful costs of war. Memorial Day is commemorated one day a year, yet many of our fellow Americans live "Memorial Day" every day of their lives. Following the Civil War, the term "soldier's heart" was used to describe the mental and emotional anguish experienced by veterans. During World War I it was called "shell shock" and later it was called "battle fatigue." It has been proven from studies of World War II veterans that virtually all soldiers who endured 60 days of combat displayed some sort of psychiatric symptoms. We classify those symptoms as PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Approximately 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are diagnosed with PTSD and another 320,000 have returned home with TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury. In many cases delayed affects of TBI causes blindness or later on-set of visual impairment. Thirteen percent (13%) of the returning 32,000 wounded warriors have become blind or visually impaired. Once again the high cost of war. Dispite the large number of veterans flooding the health care system, the VA remains grossly underfunded. This only adds insult to injury to our brave men and women who are serving in our military and defending our country. Ilona Meager in her book "Moving A Nation to Care" indicates that all of us on the home front have not been asked to do anything out of the ordinary or give up anything extraordinary for our military who continually fight to protect our country. Let's make this Memorial Day, May 31, 2010 a day to honor our war dead by living upright and honorable lives as we take a moment of silence to remember what we have and how we got it living in America.
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