Sadly, it’s easy to live free and not think about the price others pay to keep us that way: so easy to climb into bed at night, beneath a comforter and a ceiling fan and not think about the thousands of U.S. troops that may be sleeping in holes they dug in the desert.
And it’s even easier to forget about the horrors many of our combat troops witness first hand: the maimed and stolen lives of their brothers in arms, taken by the enemy often in a brutal fashion.
These things came to mind on Saturday, when I read a New York Times story focused on the alarming number of suicides taking place among our military personnel this year. To this point in the year, there have already been 154, and that number represents an 18% rise over the number of suicides that had taken place by this same time last year. Moreover, it eclipses the 124 combat deaths this year that have been the result of fighting in Afghanistan.
According to the Times’ story, there’s no single reason which explains this jump in suicides, although there are a number of actions being taken to curb the trend.
The bottom line is that defending freedom is hard work, and at a time like this, with suicides among our military personnel on the rise, it is incumbent on us to remember them in our prayers and to tell them “thank you” every chance we get.
Freedom isn’t free, and it never will be. God bless our troops.