|photo by Scukrov via Dreamstime.com|
On her second tour of duty, she participated in a mercy mission to help locals in a nearby village and was caught up in a suicide bombing. Shrapnel ripped through her right hip, requiring surgery resulting in complications, infection, chronic pain issues, an addiction to narcotic painkillers, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She returned to her family as so many other veterans do: broken in body and spirit. Her drug addiction eventually led her to steal narcotics from her employer. She was caught, took a plea deal, and is serving a six-month sentence with rehabilitation during her daughter's last high school swim season.
As our veterans return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and from other hot spots around the globe, it’s important we recognize their dedication. Parades and platitudes are great, but our vets deserve a health system that meets all their needs – physical and mental – without delays and with the best medical care possible. Politics should not be a part of this equation. Our soldiers deserve the best. After all, that’s what they give us.