Battling the Storm Within

Thursday, November 6, 2014

All of My Friends are Dying


All of My Friends are Dying           
A veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes in the USA, with over 30% of veterans having considered suicide.  “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” ― Plato

Today, for the second time in less than a month, a veteran in my circle of activist-friends has committed suicide. His name was Ethan. Last month, my friend Jacob, another anti-war veteran, took his life in rural Arkansas. Earlier this year, I lost two members of the platoon I served in; they died of cancer; neither of them smoked or drank. In fact, both Stephen and Sinbad were some of the most straitlaced veterans in our platoon. In the previous three years, two other anti-war veterans died prematurely—Anthony from a drug overdose and Joshua of cancer. As the years roll along, I'm beginning to better understand Plato's statement on war. I've now lost more friends since returning home than I did in the combat-zone. The first time I read Plato's famous quote, I was thinking about personal struggles, how to remember, or forget, the war, and how to move forward. I didn't expect my friends to keep dying. But they are vanishing at an astounding pace.

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