When the meeting had adjourned, the crew led me to the memorial area of Station Munro. Once everything cleared for me visually, it took me back emotionally for a moment. I had to stop and look at the setup so lovingly and reverently laid out to commemorate those fallen soldiers who gave their lives.
Twelve thousand white crosses streamlined across a vast field to represent something that truly crushes the heart and soul of those who take time to think about what it means.
I know looking at each grave; we can all stand around and look at them for what they are, a gravestone. But if you are honest with yourself and think upon what each one of the graves represent, can you look upon it without shedding tears of sorrow? One day, I hope that we can put all wars aside so that no one must die in such terrible and painful ways.
“The Cost of War,” what does it mean? Would you ever be able to say you were willing to pay the cost so that others may live free?
What is the cost of war? Does part of the price involve knowing that you might not make it through that enemy line? Or that you might not make it alive across the field while being shot at by enemy soldiers? Fear so thick clings to you, and it reeks in your pores and feels like a burial shroud. Does the cost involve the mud in your face, eyes, mouth, blood that isn’t, or maybe it is your own that sticks to your body? Sweat so heavy it blinds you while you’re trying to see where you are going.
Can you hear the wailing cries for mothers and fathers on the lips of grown dying men, dying in a foreign land they didn’t even belong?
What is the Cost of War? Sanity, life, limb, mental trauma, emotional trauma, long-term suffering, and internal anguishes of guilt, in the soldiers’ hearts and minds, “why did I live and not them, why not me?”
How many times have you heard that said before, Why not me? No one has genuinely held an answer to that question, “why not me?” No one can ease the suffering burden of guilt the soldier carries, day in and day out, at work, at home, in bed, the traumatic nightmares, the cold sweats, and the fear even when at home with their loved ones. No, they have to learn to let it go for themselves and realize that it has given them a gift to live another day, for reasons that they must figure out themselves.
They have to know that they must live on for those who died, maybe telling the tale of their friend, brother, father, and it continues.
Who can keep the memories alive, but the ones that live to tell the tale.
Many soldiers who come home from the battlefield, from the horrors that no one should never see, some cannot live with it and end up committing suicide.
It is not their fault; they were not weak; they maybe couldn’t endure; maybe they did not have a loving circle of support from family or friends.
Many soldiers that come home have no one, and that is the loneliest feeling of all.
What is the cost of war, you ask? Look at all the crosses, lined up in a row, pretty, shiny, and crisp against a beautifully manicured lawn. Every year, people come to remember them by putting wreaths, and flags on their graves, to be given thanks and respect for what they gave. We should never forget those who gave all, giving all and giving all they could give and come home broken physically and emotionally. What picture does this paint for you?
What is the Cost?
Please, if you are a soldier or a veteran in need of counseling services, do not suffer in silence, silence is a deadly enemy because it can only cause you to hold it in when you do not have to. You do not have to do this alone, all for one and one for all is the motto we share, even off the battle field.
Please, reach out if you feel you have nothing left, there are many people standing by to help you out on your journey to recovery. I am putting some links down here for places that are special and help veterans and soldiers overcome the trauma of war, loneliness, and PTSD. There is no law anywhere in the universe that says you HAVE to suffer with this on your own.
This is your roving reporter,
PO1 Asa Darkbyrd signing off,
May you always find the help you need along the way in your life, always know that there is someone to guide you along the way. Love and care for one another, treat each other with kindness and compassion.
Till Next time, Good Day