When folks lined up to start repeating "22 a day" and how they were raising awareness, I'd argue with them about the numbers and what the VA report actually said. That was when I'd hear the words that made me hang up the phone. "Its just a number" they said defending their use of someone else's anguish.
So how is it they survived combat but could not survive when they were back home?
We may see them as heroes, but they say they were just doing their jobs. We may see them as victims, but they see themselves as survivors. We may see them as someone to feel sorry for but they discovered the truth and found the power within all they still had to give.
From Residual War, Something Worth Living For by Kathie Costos DiCesare
Alarm clock shows 3:15 near the window where she is standing looking out.
The soldiers were in their rooms.
Michaels paces the floorThe next day all of them were talking about how they ended up at Fort Christmas. Each one of them had proven themselves as heroic and human. They had heard all the rumors about PTSD but they survived the causes while idiots spread gossip.
Alvarez is sleeping with his machine gun by his side.
Franklin is sitting on the side of the bed. Elbows on knees, head down in his hands.
Daniel's room was empty
Shultz is in bed with glow of cell phone on his face.
Bean and Murray are sleeping in the same bed. Bean has arm around Murray as his legs are moving and he is whimpering.
Daniels is walking around as if on patrol.
Faith is in fetal position, shaking with tears coming out of his eyes.
"So you see ma’am every one of us did something for the right reason without thinking about what the consequences would be because it had to be done."
"It had to be done" and it was done over and over again. They did it because everyone they served with in Afghanistan and Iraq were worth dying for. The trouble was, none of them had found something worth living for until someone else proved to them their own worth.