Today is Veteran’s Day in the USA.  Somehow it stands out more today than it has in past years.  As I go about my daily business and pass several silver-haired gentleman, I wonder if they are veterans, and if so, what untold stories do they carry with them.  How many veterans did I pass by today, young or old, male or female?  Would they be willing to tell their stories, or would they prefer to be silent.

My dad was a veteran and well as his dad.  I think my dad had more of a peacetime experience, at least that is what he shared with us.  His dad, my grandfather, had the experience of war.  I really didn’t have much of a chance to get to know him.  At times there were whispers about my grandfather having mental health issues.  Once I heard the term “shell shock”, the term that was used for people of my grandfather’s generation.  Was the shell shock something that only lasted for a few years, or did its effects linger for is whole lifetime.   I think my dad had a hard life growing up.  How much of that was related to the pain his father carried around with him.

If my dad and grandfather were still alive, I think I would try to ask them questions.  What would my dad think about the state of the military in our post 9/11 world.  Would either my grandfather or dad be willing to talk about the mental health issues that veterans face, and how these issues could be best treated?

Thanks to all the veterans out there.  A prayer for all those veterans who have departed this earth.

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