When I think about the sacrifices made for my freedoms, I am grateful and humbled. Between Dave and I, we have a strong Navy background. Both of our grandfather's served in World War II. Dave's grandpa Richard Sampson served in Guam while my grandpa Walter Kisner served in Ijo Jima. My father Brian Kisner served in the Navy in the 70's in communications. Dave served on the USS George Washington CVN 73.
I grew up knowing that my grandfather visited Hawaii during his deployment which made it seem like a fun thing to a child. He brought a grass skirt home for my grandma. Yet, he never spoke about his service and everyone knew not to ask (and I learned). He was elated when the World War II Memorial was constructed in Washington, DC. It validated his service in Ijo Jima. He saw the flag raised that fateful day and years later he started looking up his U-Boat members with pride.
George Carlin made fun of our use of language and there is a clip of him talking about how we have to be politically correct when it comes to recognizing the trauma our service members return with from war yet the sacrifices are still the same no matter what war, battle or service our service members provided to our safety. Working for a Dept. of Defense contract phone line for active service members, I had the opportunity to be on the phone with active service members. War can cause many difficult nightmares and obvious symptoms that plague a person but there were other sacrifices that one would never think to attribute to active service.
A mom who was a trauma nurse who worked in a front line base that was consistently attacked by IED was not traumatized over the loss she witnessed due her job. She was able to manage the carnage she witnessed with help from her fellow nurses and support from her commanding officer. Her difficulty was that her son had grown over an inch in the year that she was gone. She was plagued by the realization that she missed an entire year of his life that she would never get back and it caused her torture. There are thousands of subtle examples that are so personal to the service member. We often are able to quickly treat the outside wounds but the inside remains personal and insurmountable to some of our service members.
Every day in the United States, the average number of military suicides is up to 22. We need to provide so much support to our service members returning from war.
Thank you to all who have fought for our freedom. We honor you today and always. In our hearts and minds, your tremendous sacrifice both during your career and the scars that you bear on the outside and secret ones you carry deep within you are appreciated.
Please if you know anyone who needs some one to talk to because the weight of their service is heavy on them; please contact the followi-ng lines: Military OneSource (active military): 800-342-9647 Use this website for Veterans: http://veteranscrisisline.net/ You can chat if you need too. 1-800-273-8255 is a crisis hotline for anyone experience struggle.
We say thank you to ALL branches. They are ALL so important! We also include today our first responders who care for us at home including EMS, Fire fighters and Police Officers. I wish we had a day just for them because they come to our rescue while our military protects us on a daily basis.
LDE Photography provides deeply discounted session fees for our service members active and retired. We also provide the same discount to our first responders. We are proud to be a photographer for a project that provides free photo sessions for deployed soldiers who's little ones are birthed while they are away!!