Many of us here in the US applaud those who fight for our freedom. I would even say most of us. Any time someone comes around who demeans our soldiers we get enraged and remind them of all they have done to serve our country. “They risked their lives for your freedom!” is one of our most common responses. This is very true, and a commendable response. I wonder, however, if we really know all of the things soldiers sacrifice for us. Their service in combat zones is their main sacrifice, but it is hardly the whole picture.
My brother served in the Marine Corp for 4 years and 2 tours in Afghanistan. I have witnessed firsthand the effect that it has had on his life. I also have many friends who have been in combat zones and they all display similar problems.
Alcohol: There seems to be a natural inclination for soldiers to become dependent on alcohol during and following their service. My brother and one of my close friends are not exceptions and it is a rare day when they are booze-free.
Relationships: The divorce rates of ex-Combat Veterans is at a high since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and it goes beyond just marriage. Combat Veterans have a hard time keeping any relationships steady, often fleeing from their families and always wanting to be alone.
Spirituality: Many Combat Veterans have their religion shaken due to their time in war zones. This can mean feeling God has punished them or feeling a loss of meaning in life entirely.
- PTSD: Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder is another common issue and the cause of the aforementioned problems in soldier’s lives. It also causes nervousness, and the inability to feel safe.
This post is simply to let you know that when we say that soldiers sacrifice their lives for us, we mean their whole lives. No area of a soldier’s life is untouched after their experience in combat. Soldiers really do sacrifice everything for us and have to deal with these issues for the rest of their lives; so, go thank a Combat Veteran you know today.