"THE NEED" : Why this event is so important
Since the beginning of the “War on Terror”, America has lost over 7,000 Service Members. Over 53,000 were wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan and the surrounding theatres of operation. 1,200 Veterans have returned from this war as amputees. Further, studies suggest that over 5,000 Vietnam Veterans returned home with missing limbs.
- Our wounded have always come home quietly. Too many have endured: severe burns, shattered limbs and faces, spinal cord injuries, life-altering amputations, serious internal injuries and deep psychological trauma.
- Suicide/PTSD: While the fighting for US troops has tapered off, the aftereffects of over a decade of war live on. 22 Veterans take their own lives each DAY. From 2007 to 2017, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped 50%. Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than Americans who never served. For female Veterans, the risk factor is 2.2 more likely. The VA will always struggle to meet the rising demand for their services.
- Gaps in the System: While a wounded Soldier’s medical care may have been taken care of by the government, often there were gigantic hidden costs or “gaps” not covered by the military or any government program. Some of theses costs remain today, decades after the start of this war. These costs can zap the financial life out of young, struggling military families.
- These hidden costs surface in many forms. Examples:
- Suicide-prevention counseling; PTSD treatment
- The cost for specialty equipment, such as: quality wheelchairs that increase mobility, audio-visual equipment for the blind and software for traumatic brain injuries.
- The expense of college tuition or childcare—essential to allow a Marine Wife to become the sole “breadwinner”, as her wounded husband is no longer able to work.
- The huge cost to retrofit homes for handicapped Soldiers.
- Grief counseling for the survivors of a Marine or Soldier killed in action.
- Often, discharged, injured Soldiers, Marines and their families “suck it up”-- they go silent, doing without the care and gear they deserve. Many are not wired to ask for help.
- Our troops laid it all on the line. We remain obligated to ensure they receive not only complete care, but also immediate assistance. Nothing less is acceptable. Our recommended charities help provide this assistance.