Veterans Day this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam War Memorial. It’s the most visited memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC.
For those who have lost a loved one, Veterans Day is a day of mourning and celebration of a life cut short. Veterans Day is also a day to remember joyful homecomings and for some, coming home has included a difficult journey of rehabilitation and reconnecting.
For me, Veterans Day is a day to honor those who have served and to remember my years providing psychotherapy at the VA. I heard plenty about the brutality of war in the course of my work, but this element of veterans’ stories was not my focus. What made an impact on me was what I learned about the deep bonds formed in combat and the resilience, courage, and desire among veterans to live their lives with purpose and integrity.
We often hear about veterans’ struggles transitioning to civilian life, death by suicide, and PTSD. Veterans Day is a day to celebrate veterans’ strength, resilience, and continuing service to their country.
During this election week, I am particularly grateful for the more than 23,000 veterans and military family members who participated in nonpartisan efforts to recruit election officials and poll workers. Their contributions have helped ensure fair elections and have bolstered my faith in American freedom and democracy.*
Thank you for your service.
*We the Veterans, a nonpartisan coalition of veterans and military families dedicated to increasing civic engagement among those who have served.