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How to Honor Veterans

How to Honor Veterans

Veterans hold a sacred place in our country for their ability to keep us safe and the sacrifices they’ve made. Celebrating and spreading awareness for veterans helps veterans obtain employment, seek mental health services, and feel supported and included in American life.

 

Veterans Day and its Importance

Veterans Day observes all veterans, living or deceased, that have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day as the world was still reeling from the effects of both the major world wars. Other major world countries, like Britain, France, Australia, and Canada all have their own holidays or national remembrance days for veterans as well, usually in the month of November, to honor those who fought in the first world war among others.

Veterans Day is a chance for Americans to come together in solidarity for those who have served the country. It is a national celebration of honor, remembrance, compassion, and understanding. It allows Americans to express their gratitude as soldiers fight to protect freedoms both domestically and internationally. However, veterans usually end up experiencing long term mental health issues after their service, which is another reason to honor them, support them, and recognize their sacrifices. This is something we can do year round – not just on Veterans Day.

 

War Has a Profound Impact on Mental Health

War is incredibly, if not the most, emotionally, physically, and mentally vulnerable situation any person can be in. Death, sexual assault, and violence are abundant. War is incredibly psychologically wounding for those who experience it, whether it’s civilians or soldiers. It can lead to long term psychological damage. Those who had no prior history of mental health issues can return from service with PTSD, anxiety disorders, severe depression, sleep disorders, relationship issues, or substance abuse.

 

What Mental Health Issues Affect Veterans?

 Due to the violent and harrowing nature of war, the following mental health issues affect veterans:

 

How to Celebrate Veterans

Celebrating Veterans doesn’t have to be complicated. Showing up and donating are wonderful ways to give back to. You can even volunteer at events in your community to prepare food, beverages, or goodie baskets. You can donate to charity organizations that focus their efforts on veterans’ wellbeing. You can also uplift the voices of veterans by listening to them while they share their stories.

One of the best ways you can help honor veterans is to help increase awareness or education about the dire mental health issues that plague former service members. This can be done by educating yourself or a loved one and getting involved. On Veterans Day and every day, don’t be afraid to extend a little gratitude and compassion!

 

Getting Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of compassionate and qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication management, our highly qualified team specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults. In-person appointments are available to patients in the Southlake (DFW) area. Online appointments are available to patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston, and San Antonio areas.

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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