On Memorial Day, Honor ALL That Died, Mr. President

This was posted on To Write Love On Her Arms today: 

In both 2009 and 2010, more soldiers died by suicide than were killed in combat. On this Memorial Day, as we pause to remember the men and women killed in combat, we choose also to remember the soldiers lost to suicide. 

And in an effort to do more than just remember, we want to invite you to use your voice to urge President Obama to reverse the White House policy on military condolence letters. In short, we believe that the current policy of not sending condolence letters to families of service members who lost their lives to suicide is insensitive and we believe it needs to change.

The grieving families of soldiers who die by suicide deserve to be met with kindness and compassion. For these people, the reality is that someone they love went to war and they did not return. Compassion shouldn’t hinge on the circumstances of the death, whether they died by enemy fire or died trying to escape the memory of what they saw and felt and lost at war. Love should not be withheld based on where a bullet comes from. Those soldiers that died by suicide, they were sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. They were people living stories and their stories ended tragically too soon.

For more information and to get involved, PLEASE CLICK HERE. We’re asking you to write and call the White House, to make the message clear that we believe the family of any solider killed deserves the highest level of kindness and comfort.

To the many remembering loved ones lost today, we stand with you. We ache for your loss and for your grief. We celebrate your memories. To the many alive but still at war, be that far away or here at home, we stand with you as well.

If you are struggling, please know that you are not alone. Please talk to someone. And please know that it’s okay to talk to someone. It’s okay to say “I’m not okay.” It’s okay to say “I need help.” People, all people, need and deserve other people.

Talk to a friend. Consider talking to a counselor. Please don’t walk this road alone.

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  • Shannyn June 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Hey Chrisa! I discovered your blog on the LoveDrop forum, I'm in Chicago too! I read this post, and though it's past Memorial Day, it totally hit me. I'm usually kind of frustrated by the folks who see that weekend as a day off from work and not the purpose behind it, but your point opened my eyes to another side of what it means to sacrifice to be in the Service…thanks for pointing it out. I know so many young men and women who have been over seas who have an array of issues to face upon returning from serving in the war, several of my friends have gotten divorced, others have needed special medical and mental care after their terms.

    Thanks for posting, I hope to read more and hop to see you around the LoveDrop Forums!