I'm generally not one to get all sentimental on Veteran's Day, which we celebrated yesterday, for all kinds of reasons, and I won't enumerate them here. I think this quote sums it up best though: "Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched." (Guy de Maupassant)
That being said, I heard part of Fresh Air last night on the way home from the gym, and it reminded me of a story, one that I meant to post on my old blog and just never got around to it.
Say you: I thought you said you weren't writing about this stuff anymore...
Say me: Um, my blog. Therefore I'm entitled to fickle behavior.
One of the first assessments I ever did, four or five years ago now, was for a young woman who had made a feeble attempt to end it all: some minor cutting on her wrists that didn't even require stitches. When I walked in the room I momentarily paused before I began because her beauty took my breath away. She wasn't Angelina Jolie beautiful or Marilyn Monroe beautiful or even typical, white-man-fantasy porn star beautiful. She was quietly beautiful: thin, but not horribly so, creamy dark skin, piercing dark eyes, long curly hair, perfectly balanced features. She was polite and unassuming and sad. So, so sad. Silent tears marked her face like roads on a map the entire time I was with her.
She was there with her husband who was an Iraqi Freedom vet. They were high school sweethearts and married a year or so after they graduated. Three weeks later he deployed, and two weeks after that he lost his leg to an IED. Honorably discharged and fully rehabbed with the new leg, he was working in finance by the time I saw them.
And she never really dealt with it. Any of it.
One of the earliest and hidden casualties of the war: the mental health of a spouse who lost her dreams and expectations. Not to mention her husband's leg. ->