This weekend I listened to SNL with Pete Davidson and his apology to Navy Seal Dan Crenshaw recently elected to represent District 2 of Texas in the House.  Humor should be funny, make you laugh and not offend.  Crenshaw said in an interview that Seal’s don’t get offended.  This exchange on SNL was a lesson in forgiveness, common ground and ended with the instruction to greet our veterans with the phrase, “Never Forget.”  If you didn’t see it, here it is… SNL

With that exhortation we all remembered our own family, friends and acquaintances impacted by war. Their heroism, their impact and our loss as some paid with their own lives for our freedom all cause us to be grateful.  

There is a statistic that causes us to pause, 22 veterans each day take their own lives in the United States.  Some of our sons and daughters suffer from PTSD just as our fathers and grandfathers did. On occasion addiction grips their lives and in the same way that anyone becomes homeless, they do. And on occasion they are incarcerated.  So on all of our reentry forms we ask that question, did you serve in the military? We ask because we don’t want to assume anything.  We also ask because veterans are eligible for services through SSVF-Support Services for Veteran Families and for treatment at the Chris Kyle Patriot Hospital in Anchorage.

My bonus dad served in World War II, when he married my mom in his early 70’s he was still having nightmares and anxiety.  He hadn’t flown in an airplane since the day a glider had rescued him from the front lines.  This meant very little to me until I visited the Silent Wings memorial in Texas and heard the stories and actually saw a glider.  Dad told me that the pilot of the glider was someone who knew his name, a neighbor from his hometown.  One afternoon we had a talk about accessing his Disabled Veteran’s benefits including a support group.  It’s never too late to heal. I am happy to report that they had many wonderful adventures and flew all over the world.

If you are struggling, there is hope and a way forward. Speak your truth and “Never Forget.”