Veterans Day: What We Don't See

Source: American Psychiatric Association
Veterans Day infographics provide a wide range of data to help us discuss this holiday with our students, and we've written a number of posts to remember the brave men and women who served so valiantly to protect our freedoms. But perhaps the infographic above from the American Psychiatric Association is the most powerful to cross our path. It's not about the numbers of veterans from different wars, or the history of the day; instead, it represents the staggering statistics about the wounds that plague the minds of so many of our veterans.

Source: American Psychiatric Association

It is difficult to get an official count of the number of soldiers with physical injuries who were wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the website, Costs of War, there are over 970,000 disability claims on record to the Veterans Administration as of March 2014, whereas the Department of Defense official count is just over 50,000. The DoD does not make this information easily accessible, and many of the news releases don't have direct links to the data.

Source: Takepart
When we add in the information for suicide and mental health issues for the wounds we can't readily see, the numbers go off the charts. The sad truth is there are far more injuries than what meet the eye. The infographic called Combating Military and Veteran Suicide and Supporting Mental Health Care points to an alarming statistic that one veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes.

While we don't want to dwell on such depressing facts with our students, we do want to educate them to understand that the costs of war are far greater than they may think. Just because someone is not physically hurt does not mean he or she is not hurting.

Thank you to all the veterans who sacrificed so much for us.

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