Twenty-two military a day take their own life through suicide because they have lost hope. Twenty-one of those have stepped out of active-duty status and one takes their life while still enlisted. I work with both enlisted and veterans who have lost their purpose and help them find a new life, a new way to cope, and hope for a better future.
You are alive as long as you are breathing, but there are many who are alive living like they are dead.
I have found that a person who goes into a career as one who will serve with their life, they must be so committed that if they are asked to give up their life, they are willing and able to do it. It takes unmeasurable courage and self-sacrifice to see others as more valuable than oneself. The most precious gift of life can only be given once and today we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Not only are we honoring those who serve in military uniforms, but also those who wear white coats on the frontlines of our hospitals. We also honor those who wear law enforcement uniforms in tan and green and blue. We honor the yellow jackets of fire fighters and all the support staff who don't wear uniforms but make it possible for others to serve. We honor everyone who is willing to do their job, to the best of their ability, who recognize a person's wellbeing might be elevated by another's caring ability to serve. And I honor my team of mental health providers who have been elevating the lives of men, women, and children through their own caring service.
If you see someone in service today, say thank you and shake a hand or give them a hug. So many times they are the unsung heroes who go unnoticed, unappreciated, and undervalued.
We honor you today and every day.