(Image Credit Susannah Smith/Associated Press)
There is a Veterans Day story I want to share in case you haven’t seen it already…but my disclaimer up front is it is hard to do so. The reason I decided to go ahead with this post is because I am tired of seeing our fellow Americans who chose to serve our country be put in harm’s way.
I am pro-military but I am equally, very much anti-war. My father was in the military during the Korean War. I know it changed him. How could it not?
I long ago grew weary of our leaders looking to kill every person who doesn’t like this country at any cost to our own people. I would bring all our service men and women home tomorrow and no one from this country would be at war ever again unless truly, honestly provoked into defending our nation. God knows we’ve spent enough taxpayer dollars on all this technology we keep hearing about. Government and military alike…if you want to keep tabs on anyone perceived to be a threat have at it from a distance.
This is about one veteran, Wade Baker. He died on August 19th because after a quarter-century of trying to counteract what war did to him he simply couldn’t take it anymore.
He was given a beautiful service dog named Honor three years earlier. Honor did everything in his power within that time to try to turn his tortured master’s life around…and he made noticeable progress at one point…but in the end the cumulative horrors Wade Baker experienced in the Gulf War engulfed him and…too weary to fight anymore…staged his own death at the hands of police responding to an alleged gunman/hostage situation.
Wade Baker was the gunman…and the hostage. He made the 911 call which would not save his life…but end it.
The entire AP story describing Baker’s service, his fight to become normal once again…and how his service dog Honor tried to keep him alive…is here.
Honor attended his master’s funeral and curled beneath the casket as the service went on.
The good news is Honor was then allowed to stay with Wade Baker’s family. He continues to provide much more than just service to Baker’s widow and their sons now as they grieve.
In the story it describes after Baker was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he wrote a poem which he felt spoke for others as well:
“They convinced us to fight for honor and glory,
But when they were done with us, the same old story,
Here are trinkets and medals – oh wow, a parade!
Now just forget all the promises made.”
We’ve all heard about the continuing shoddy treatment our returning troops receive. The system was broken from the start and has yet to be fixed. But here’s what I am egotistical enough to believe is an even better idea…
If we don’t want any more broken Veterans…let’s stop creating them in the first place.