In some ways, this seems very strange and foreign to me because I feel that military service is one of the most honorable professions one can choose. I am grateful for those who are willing to serve and sacrifice on my behalf so that I can continue to live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. I know that it is imperative that our nation have a strong military, and with no draft, we need people to step up and serve.
If you know me, then you know that I spend my days serving the military through the nonprofit I founded, Military Missions, Inc. I wouldn’t give my heart and soul to supporting our troops and veterans if I didn’t feel military service was important.
So, why, you ask, did I complete the Opt-Out Parent Form? Basically, I want to make a point. I have already given one child to the Marine Corps. He served three combat tours for our nation, and they sent back to me, a wounded combat veteran for whom they have no system in place to provide quality care.
Thousands of troops come home physically wounded or suffering with the invisible wounds of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress each year. This war seems to have no end. The numbers of injured is increasing and the health care system for our troops and veterans is already overwhelmed. There are too many who need help and not enough services and providers who can treat them.
Our combat veterans are finding themselves without families, without jobs, without homes, and many are committing suicide because they don’t see a way out of their hopeless situation.
It is my opinion that they should not bring one more person into military service unless they can guarantee that they will take care of them once they return home from the war zone. Quality health care and rehabilitation programs should not consist of drug cocktails and three month waits between appointments.
I have already given one son for the cause and I have watched the system, as it currently exists, do nothing but further destroy his life.
Our family will Opt-Out of military service until the Department of Defense and the Veteran’s Administration are willing to uphold their end of the bargain and take care of those who serve.
Our family will, however, continue to serve and support our military, their families, and our veterans by giving our time and our talents to meet the needs here on the homefront.