Mon, 25 May 2009 10:23:28 +0000 – By Lee WoodruffAuthor, "Perfectly Imperfect"
Memorial Day weekend is one of those holidays I look forward to beginning in about February. It's the gateway to warm weather, with a three-day weekend and usually a BBQ or two with friends to celebrate the coming lazy days of summer.
But how many of us truly pause on this holiday to think about the real meaning of the weekend. How many of us this Memorial Day will stop to honor not only the veterans of previous wars, but the 1.65 million who have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Some of us went to war and the rest of America went shopping," Rene Bardorf, Executive Director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, said to me once and it has stayed with me. Her husband, a Marine colonel has been deployed twice. While she single-parents their two children in Virginia, he is now posted in California. Her family has made sacrifice after sacrifice during war time. This holiday weekend has a different meaning for them.
As a country, we seem to be doing a much better job in this war of thanking and appreciating our vets than we did after Vietnam. It was shameful how we treated those men. "They threw rocks at me in the parade," I vividly recall one veteran telling me.
Especially when they are wounded.
More than 320,000 service members have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with some form of a brain injury--that ranges from traumatic head injuries to the hidden injuries of the mind, post traumatic stress disorder or combat stress. This Memorial Day weekend--many of our wounded veterans and their caregivers will not get a break.
Our veterans and service members are the only ones who have been asked to sacrifice after September 11. As Americans we all need to come together as a country to heal their wounds.
If someone risked their life for you would you give them a dollar? I would. And now there is a way to put your money where your mouth is for everyone out there who is twittering or has always wanted to twitter.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation, (Remind.org) is harnessing the power of the good folks at Twitter over Memorial Day so that when you sign up for "tweettoremind" and Twitter, a dollar goes to a wounded veteran who has served their country. The goal is to raise a dollar for each of the 1.65 million service members who have cycled through Iraq an Afghanistan. The money goes to local support services and resources to assist their recovery from the physical and psychological wounds of war.
Lee Woodruff is the mother of four children, author, "Perfectly Imperfect," co-author of "In an Instant" with husband and ABC Newsman Bob Woodruff. To learn more about Lee, click here. For more about Lee and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, click here.