Imagine being a young soldier who returns home after his sixth deployment in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Finally, the end has arrived, no more worrying about driving in a car which suddenly explodes after being hit by an IED. No more worry about whether it is OK to turn one’s back in your office to the Afghan soldier who shares it with you. No more entering a house in search of weapons only to step on a crack which leads to an explosion and death. No more nights popping pills in order to get some sleep. One is now home with family and friends.
Of course, one seeks a job only to discover there is none available that pays a decent wage. One chats at a party with people your age who lack even the faintest idea about the location of Afghanistan or Iraq, let alone why anyone fought in those areas. One sits in a restaurant and the waiter drops a tray, hand reaches for non-existent weapon, sweat envelops the body. One is home and safe.
Reality, after deaths in combat the highest figure for death for one who serves in our armed forces is suicide. So far this year 127 soldiers died in Afghanistan and 154 committed suicide. Such is life for those who served, such is death for those who serve.