We’re here again, in this spot where we look forward and back.  This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.  Fallujah comes to mind, and now Ramadi.

Memorial Day 2015

Both will be on the minds of veterans whose lives were changed by these wars.  Rippling out, the families and friends of these vets will also be thinking about these events. You know what happens when a stone is cast into a pool…the ripples extend out in ever-widening circles.

As a society we say we’re committed to caring for those who served this country in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Also Desert Storm, Bosnia, Korea, Europe and the Pacific.  Let’s include those who served here at home and abroad in peacetime.  And their families. See how this grows?

On Memorial Day the nation honors the fallen and those who are living with the sacrifices they made to honor their oath of service. This is about more than backyard barbecues and welcome-to-summer sales.  It’s about being thankful for the freedom we all too often take for granted, and it’s about those who are willing to put their lives on the line to ensure those privileges of freedom.

Let’s take Memorial Day with us into these coming months.  Let’s do our part to make this nation the best it can be. Know a vet?  Thank them.  Know a vet who needs services, housing, medical help, someone who’ll listen?  Fill the needs you can. Here’s another resource for you: the National Veterans Foundation Lifeline for Vets, a crisis hotline where vets talk to vets:  888.777.4443.

We’re in the debt of those who have served.  Let’s remember that this Memorial Day.

Shad Meshad

As a U.S. Army Medical Service Officer in Vietnam in 1970, Shad Meshad began pioneering treatment techniques for what would later become known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is the founder of the National Veterans Foundation and founder and co-author of the VA’s Vet Center Program.

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