The Journey – A Tribute to Our Nation’s Servicemembers
Written By: Jenny Klonowski
A servicemember’s journey home from war,
A burden that one often bares alone.
The war can rage on inside of the mind, body, and soul,
Deepening invisible wounds, even when miles away from hostile ground.
Minds are shadowed by memories, haunted by fear, a victim to the loss.
Constantly seeking peace. An absolution to the destruction and chaos of war.
A nation that is capable and equipped to send loved ones away to war,
But upon their return, it is difficult to identify what is deepening beneath the surface.
The inner turmoil and struggle to connect with daily life again.
Civilians reserve the special duty to protect those that protect our country.
Providing light in the darkness, a breath of air in the unrelenting waves of anguish.
Paving the way for them to find peace within themselves.
Honoring their sacrifices and acknowledging their journey,
Letting them know that they are loved.
Thanking them for their choice to serve with the country’s 1% that pledged an oath to protect this land.
Letting them know that they are home, they are safe now.
Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have deployed. According to a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, nearly 20% of those Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are diagnosed with PTSD and/or major depression. Yet, 50% of those that are diagnosed with PTSD do not seek treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD, hope, and healing is possible. Reach out to your local VA Medical Center or Vet Center and speak to a counselor or therapist, or call the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255. No one has to go through this alone, support is always available.
Tanielian, Terri, Lisa H. Jaycox, David M. Adamson, M. Audrey Burnam, Rachel M. Burns, Leah B. Caldarone, Robert A. Cox, Elizabeth J. D’Amico, Claudia Diaz, Christine Eibner, Gail Fisher, Todd C. Helmus, Benjamin R. Karney, Beau Kilmer, Grant N. Marshall, Laurie T. Martin, Lisa S. Meredith, Karen N. Metscher, Karen Chan Osilla, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Rajeev Ramchand, Jeanne S. Ringel, Terry L. Schell, Jerry M. Sollinger, Mary E. Vaiana, Kayla M. Williams and Michael R. Yochelson. Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2008. http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG720. Also available in print form.