I went to the VA hospital in Tampa with hubby on Thursday. A trip I hope not to make with him again anytime soon, because it brought to reality the horrible outcome of what some of our service men and women sacrificed while serving our country.
I'm not naive. Both my dad and step-father served, my hubby, his two oldest sons, friends...so many others I know who have gone to war for our country. I've seen the pictures they brought home, and can't count the times while watching the history channel that hubby has said, that was my ship...I was there...
But seeing what the outcome is for some, with my own eyes, impacted me in a huge way. It was pouring rain by the time we arrived at the hospital. It's a long walk from the parking lot so I let hubby off at the door, and decided to wait in the car for him. I moved it out of the way, but stayed close enough to see when he was at the door. During that time I just watched.
The rain pelting down on my windshield did nothing to disguise the many veterans in wheelchairs that I saw coming, and going through that door. A woman limped through the rain with a cane, her left leg as straight and stiff as wood. One elderly man without legs wheeled himself out the door to a waiting van. Many didn't seem to have anything physically wrong with them.
I couldn't help wonder what happened to each person I saw. What was their story? Where did they serve? I know my hubby survived a sinking ship, and being shot, but what about the mental injuries we can't see? It's hard to imagine what each service person has locked up inside their minds, and hearts. And how some of them struggle to get through each day with those memories.