Letter to the Editor: All veterans are heroes

All veterans matter; living or deceased. They all deserve our everlasting gratitude.

Can we as everyday people, imagine what veterans think about? When a man or a woman put on the uniform, they never know where they will be sent, and if they will ever come home.

The wounded warriors have many obstacles to overcome. Some veterans are wounded physically, some are wounded mentally. You do not always see mental wounds, but they are always there, hidden.

My knowledge of a wounded mind has empowered and carried me a lifetime. It is addiction. There are many different addictions. There is help now for many returning. Years ago only physical wounds were addressed. Many men and women came home years ago with wounded minds because of their exposure to war. The horror of friends killed in front of their faces remain forever with them. Many 12 step programs, which are much needed, are always available as a solemn fortress.

I recently read a true story of one of our living 91-year-old Vietnam veterans who witnessed his buddy killed. When he went back to retrieve him, his body was composed. Can we as protected Americans ever conceive such valor?

My eyes fill with tears as I write and reminisce some of my husband’s small combat stories. What can I, or we, as a grateful country give them back what they so much deserve?

Our wounded warriors, some forgotten, some homeless, some beaten inside and out are forever in our hearts.

All veterans are heroes, alive or dead, every day, not just on Veterans Day. Is thank you adequate or sufficient? Is thank you enough?

Shirlee J. Pergler

Romeoville Resident

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