Americans gather on Memorial Day to pay homage to our fallen warriors serving in the United States armed forces, honoring their sacrifice and courage, and recalling the selflessness that embodies military service. Some service members return from duty stations with visible and invisible wounds, tragic hallmarks of armed conflict, while still others return draped by the American flag. We honor their sacrifice.
This newest generation of veterans must battle misperceptions about their military service and stigmas about getting treatment for the residual aftereffects of war. These stigmas often interfere with a smooth transition to civilian life, but family and friends can help influence veterans to get the treatment and services they need. Let them know that you are available to assist by encouraging them to access mental health services, if needed. Mental health conditions can be treated, and many veterans recover successfully, moving forward with productive and happy lives. Veterans often demonstrate how gritty determination equals resilience and success.
Let’s remember those who have fallen and those who are wounded. Volunteering at a local VA Maryland Health Care System facility is a start. Contact the Voluntary Service office for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 800-463-6295, ext. 7100 today.
Dennis H. Smith
Director, VA Maryland Health Care System
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