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Memorial Day Commemoration

AMS Fulfillment

AMS FulfillmentA few days ago, we gave thanks to the military members and veterans. It was Armed Forces Day, and we celebrated the men and women who protect us. Today, May 27, is Memorial Day – a federal holiday commemorating those who gave their lives in protecting us. We will begin this commemoration with a quote from a soldier named Angela Leath [LINK]:

“Throughout my Army career, I carried a piece of paper folded in the breast pocket of my uniform with a list of the names of the 35 soldiers killed in my brigade during my first deployment to Iraq. I carried it as a reminder of the sacrifice that these men and women made for our country; and as a reminder of how lucky I was to have made it out alive. 

“Fourteen years later, I still find myself pulling out that list every Memorial Day. Outwardly, I smile, barbeque, swim and pretend to have the “Happy” Memorial Day that so many people look forward to. However, internally I feel the same emotional heaviness and overwhelming sense of sadness that I felt when I left Iraq. My mind often races with images of Iraq running through it – memories of all the memorial services I had to attend while deployed and of all the soldiers who were quietly removed from theatre, or the main area of operations, whose lives were lost to suicide.”

What This Day Means

The National Holiday called Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. This special day commemorates all men and women who gave their lives when serving and it also thanks those who are currently serving. Quoting from Awareness Days [LINK]:

“National Memorial Day is formally known as Decoration Day, the day that commemorated the Union and Confederate soldiers, who died during the American Civil War. Later the day extended to honor all American soldiers, who died while in the military service.

“Traditionally, the flag of the USA is raised briskly to the top of the flagstaff, then it is lowered to the half-staff position. This position is chosen in remembrance of those people, who died for their country. At noon the flag is raised to full-staff as the symbol that the memory of dead soldiers is being raised by the living. Their sacrifice was not in vain, that is why we rise up in their honor and continue fighting for liberty and justice.”

Veteran Mental and Emotional Health

War is recognized as noble, and it is a profound offering to put your life on the line for an ideal and for your country. But war is also hell for those who are fighting it. At PubMed [LINK] we find some information about the mental health challenges faced by those on the front lines.

“The most widely publicized mental health challenges veterans and service members encounter are posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Although these mental health concerns are prominently highlighted, it is crucial to acknowledge that other issues, such as suicide, traumatic brain injury (TBI), substance use disorder (SUD), and interpersonal violence, can be equally detrimental in this population.”

The challenges and consequences of combat and deployment affect both the soldier and the family.

The article goes on to say, “Over 6% of the US population has served or is currently serving in the military. Notably, this number also does not consider the significant number of relatives affected by military service. Healthcare providers can enhance the quality of care they provide patients and potentially save their lives by comprehending the relationship between military service and a patient’s physical and mental well-being.”

The Angela Leath Story

We will conclude with a bit more of the story told in the beginning paragraph by Angela Leath. “While still on active duty, self-care was a foreign term to me. After eight years of service and two combat tours, I found myself being medically retired due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It took losing my military career for me to truly understand the value of keeping myself mentally healthy.

“For me, self-care means taking a hike in the mountains with my dogs in the morning and pausing to reflect on the beauty around me. If I am feeling overly stressed, it may also include a few moments of focused breathing. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising are also an important part of my routine. 

“For other veterans, self-care may mean getting lost in a good book or listening to inspiring music. Essentially, self-care is anything that you do for yourself that provides you with a few moments of serenity.”

On this Memorial Day

Whatever you and your family decide to do on this special day, we encourage you to salute the soldiers. If you have lost a family member to war, we send you our condolences. If you or your family member are currently in the US Military or National Guard we thank you for putting your life on the line. May you be blessed with long life and good health.


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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.



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