Memorial Day - Time to Thank Those that Paid the Ultimate Price

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    Memorial Day is the day set aside to remember our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. allnurses proudly salutes and remembers these patriots and their families who are left to mourn....

    Memorial Day - Time to Thank Those that Paid the Ultimate Price

    As we enjoy our weekend, please take a minute to remember the "WHY" of Memorial Day.

    Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. After WWI, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action. It was originally called Decoration Day and was held May 30th of each year. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a bill that moved Federal Holidays to create more three-day weekends. Since 1971, Memorial Day has officially been observed on the last Monday in May.

    Nurses have been on the front lines during many military conflicts and they, like others have given their lives in the service of the US.

    Some facts:

    59,000 nurses served in the US military during WWII. Overall, there were over 291,000 casualties. "Nurses received 1,619 medals, citations, and commendations during the war, reflecting the courage and dedication of all who served. Sixteen medals were awarded posthumously to nurses who died as a result of enemy fire. These included the 6 nurses who died at Anzio, 6 who died when the Hospital Ship Comfort was attacked by a Japanese suicide plane, and 4 flight nurses. Thirteen other flight nurses died in weather-related crashes while on duty. Overall, 201 nurses died while serving in the Army during the war."

    During the Korean War, there were over 33,000 deaths. "There were some 120,000 women in the United States who were on active duty during the Korean War. Most of the women who served in Korea were nurses. Females also served in support units in Japan and other Far East countries during the war. A total of 17 nurses died during this conflict, most in airplane crashes.

    The Vietnam War claimed over 44,000 lives. During the Vietnam War, 16 military women were killed. Their names appear on The Vietnam Wall in Washington DC. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation estimates that approximately 11,000 military women were stationed in Vietnam during the conflict. Nearly all of them were volunteers, and 90 percent served as military nurses. There are 8 confirmed deaths of women who were active duty military in Vietnam.

    During the first Gulf War, there were 149 casualties.

    The Afghanistan War which has spanned the years 2001 to the present, there have been almost 6000 casualties. 147 females have died during this time also.

    Over the years, many young men and women have joined the military either via the draft which was halted in January 1973 or in more recent times as part of the all-volunteer military. Many jobs that previously were off-limits to women have been opened nowadays. This has resulted in more women dying in the service of their country. Both enlisted and commissioned officers take oaths of allegiance, a little different in the wording but nonetheless a very real reminder that they may be called upon to give their life.

    Both men and women have paid the ultimate price of their life while in the service of the USA.

    As we go about our weekend plans, please remember the true meaning of Memorial Day: to honor our dead. Men and women take the same oath, wear the same uniforms and do many of the same jobs.

    Please give a shout out if you have a family member or friend who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    AN salutes all our fallen soldiers, airman, sailors and marines...

    References:

    American Women Who Died in the Vietnam War

    Army Nurse Corps WWII


    Grim Toll of Military Women Killed in War

    Korean War Educator

    Memorial Day in the US

    Women in the Vietnam War
    Last edit by Joe V on May 30
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  3. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    To add to this, please also take a moment to remember those that never fully got out of battle mentally. Never came back the same and ultimately took their life. Newest research shows we lose 20 veterans a day to suicide. That is 7,300 a year. So many of our troops are barely out of high school when they are shipped off to war and as most people know, the support they need upon return is not often there or they have to jump through 100's of hoops to get the help they need. So often they turn to addiction and suicide. It doesn't make their sacrifice any less noble. I'll be spending my day tomorrow after church hospital a BBQ for our veterans that were once homeless and addicted to drugs or alcohol or both and now in recovery.
  4. by   prelift
    vets before illegal immigrants
  5. by   Daisy4RN
    Very nicely written. I would also add that although this day is to honor fallen soldiers we should also remember the sacrifices made by all service members and their families. Many young soldiers leave behind a spouse and children in order to keep us all safe from harm, and many of those also have financial as well as emotional difficulties. I totally support and appreciate all our military men, women and their families!!
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Many, many heartfelt thanks to our deceased warriors and their loved ones who have kept the faith at home
    so that those who have come home alive would have something to come home to.

    There are so many who help with the heavy lifting - warriors and those who stay by the stuff.
  7. by   Here.I.Stand
    Quote from ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    To add to this, please also take a moment to remember those that never fully got out of battle mentally. Never came back the same and ultimately took their life. Newest research shows we lose 20 veterans a day to suicide. That is 7,300 a year. So many of our troops are barely out of high school when they are shipped off to war and as most people know, the support they need upon return is not often there or they have to jump through 100's of hoops to get the help they need. So often they turn to addiction and suicide. It doesn't make their sacrifice any less noble. I'll be spending my day tomorrow after church hospital a BBQ for our veterans that were once homeless and addicted to drugs or alcohol or both and now in recovery.
    This is an old statistic of course: I remember in 2003, while learning about nursing considerations for the homeless, hearing that 40% of the homeless in the US are veterans. Forty percent!! I was so disgusted. I wonder if that isn't more now, with 15 more years' worth of Middle East vets.
  8. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Quote from Here.I.Stand
    This is an old statistic of course: I remember in 2003, while learning about nursing considerations for the homeless, hearing that 40% of the homeless in the US are veterans. Forty percent!! I was so disgusted. I wonder if that isn't more now, with 15 more years' worth of Middle East vets.

    I at first thought you were saying my stat was old and I was like Ummmmm it's from 2015 research. LOL The numbers used to be 22 a day average. But you're talking about the homeless statistic. It boils my blood the way I see our veterans treated. I think the stats today would be grossly skewed because now with PTSD coming to light and addiction they will associate homeless veterans with addiction and like it's a choice. It's extremely difficult and tedious for a veteran to even get help with PTSD. They have to jump through so many hoops to prove themselves, more than a regular doctor or therapist diagnosing them. They have to get witness testimony to the event that left them traumatized, multiple witnesses. Proof and documentation of the event. Just to name a few things and a lot of that stuff can be difficult to get as it stands.

    Today I had the most amazing experience at the BBQ and was given a gift from one of the vets that literally left me standing there with tears rolling down speechless. I went to help and serve and I left being honored and truly touched. This place I am involved in is one of the most amazing places I have seen that is ACTUALLY GETTING IT RIGHT! It's the difference between us honoring these residents on Veterans day or mourning them on Memorial day.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Thanks for all the comments....Memorial Day is to remember those that have died in the service of our country.

    Armed Forces Day is the day set aside to honor those currently on active duty.

    Veteran's day is the day for honoring veterans.
  10. by   emilly.lynn
    Very Nice!!
  11. by   cyc0sys
    Excellent article. Very on point.

    The only thing I would like to add is, this is not the day to thank the living for their service. It is a day to honor those who paid the ultimate price with their lives. If you would like to honor the dead, take a moment to think about them. If you don't know anyone who gave their life during their service, visit a cemetery or war memorial.

    This is not a day for political pandering. Regardless of how you feel about war or conflict, most people gave their lives to protect their brothers or sisters in arms. Everyone who has served has given something, those who have fallen gave everything and this is their day.
    Last edit by cyc0sys on Jun 3 : Reason: grammar

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