Opinion

Honor our soldiers: more respect due to the military than one day

The country celebrated and honored Veterans Day this week, acknowledging the countless men and women who have served our country. We honored those who have fallen in battle, veterans of past wars and those in active service. We recognized the challenges and suffering that they and their families have faced.

In addition to this annual day of honor, other events and anniversaries are being celebrated at this time. The Great War formally ended 96 years ago, after more than 37 million casualties. The armistice was the cause of celebration across the world, and though things could not go back to normal, healing could begin. And just 25 years ago the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, finally ending the division between east and west.

Why are all these dates important to us? Why should we read about what happened all those years ago when we are on the brink of a new war, battling ISIS and struggling against deadly disease? Well, those reasons are exactly why we should be remembering the past and those who have made sacrifices for their countries.

We The Threefold Advocate urge each and every one of you to take time to honor and pray for our military. If you do not know someone personally who currently serves or did serve in the military, you may feel distant or removed from these days and events. However, it is important that we all recognize their service and sacrifice.

Some may balk at the idea of supporting our troops if they do not support the war or operation these soldiers are fighting in, but they should still show these men and women the respect they deserve.

Those who serve in the military—as well as their families—face a number of difficult challenges unique to them. Some of the biggest concerns are mental health issues. According to a Harvard Medical School professor, the rate of major depressive disorder is five times higher among soldiers as civilians, and the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder is 15 times as high.

In addition to mental health issues, many other problems pose risks to soldiers. According to the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development, there were nearly 50,000 homeless veterans just over two months ago. Thankfully this is a decline since the last survey in 2010.

While Veterans Day is an honorable holiday, it is not enough to merely thank our soldiers once a year. We The Threefold Advocate urge you to think of them often, pray for their families and support them in any way you can. It is clear from our history that wars will begin and end, so people will always be fighting for our safety. These people deserve far more respect than we often give them, and we hope you consider this next time you take your security and freedom for granted.