This is an open letter to veterans who suffer in pain because they returned and others didn’t
It is understandable that you feel pain, perhaps even guilt because you returned and buddies didn’t.
But if it were you that didn’t return, would you want those who did to live the rest of their lives agonizing over the fact that you didn’t? Or by allowing that agony to consume them to even to the point of taking their own life? Or would you want them to live life? To remember the good memories of you, and to live life to the fullest in your honor?
Don’t make their sacrifice meaningless. Of course it hurts that you lost them, but please honor their loss by doing what you would want them to do: Live life. Help others who are hurting. In helping others, you honor those who didn’t come home. Taking your life does not honor them.
Get involved. Help others. Make the fact that you returned count. Live a life that is helpful to others. Live a life that would make them proud of you. Treasure your memories instead of mourning a loss without end.
To quote General Patton: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”
Leroy (Roy) Jones
LCDR USN (retired)