By Joe Kaiser -
Troopathon, the eight hour show aiming to send care packages to our troops, airs today and as Hannah Ihms discussed on Tuesday, this is a very good opprotunity to give a 'thank you' to a soldier. Moreover, though, this may be an important time to consider what care for our troops really means.
The cover story of TIME magazine this week is a powerful example at the pressing need our service men and women have for care and comfort. The story, entitled 'One a Day,' dove into the increasing rate of suicides among U.S. military personnel, a tragedy which has reached frightening levels. The causes of suicide differ but are usually related to depression and stress, showing that often times even when defeating the enemy physically, a toll can be taken mentally and emotionally.
The physical, emotional and mental burdens that develop from war and the separation from loved ones overseas has been affecting soldiers and their families all across the nation. The alarming suicide rate is just one, very large facet of what our troops are facing today, along the visible impact from bombs and bullets. Because of these unfortunate realities, there is a weight on the shoulders of every American citizen to consider what care for our troops can really mean and how far it can go.
Regardless of how you feel about foriegn policy or U.S. involvement in the Middle East, there is a moral obligation to provide a sense of comfort and peace of mind to those who serve. It seems apparent that the outpour of support is not going to come from our media, who seem only in love with human interest stories about death, nor will it even come from our own economy, which featured an unemployment for post-9/11 veterans of 9.5 percent last month. This is why events like Troopathon are necessary and the kindness and drive of those who participate in it are integral.
Therefore, if you are donating to Troopathon today, or flipping through said TIME magazine article, or even just going through today like you would any other given Thursday, think about what care to the troops really means - and how and when you, as a citizen, can provide it. Just as we appreciate their service abroad, they appreciate the comfort from home.