The Other Sacrifice

This weekend we honor those serving in our military, and the word ‘sacrifice’ will be used frequently.  We talk about the sacrifices that families of military personnel make, and we talk about those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in service to their country.

But there is another sacrifice we should remember. Image

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki recently announced they were adding 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff.  This is a response to the growing epidemic of suicides among combat veterans.

The past decade has seen an unprecedented use of combat personnel, and the resulting stress of multiple deployments causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide outnumber combat deaths. According to an article in the Air Force Times, suicides among airmen are up 40 percent over last year. 

Today, let us also remember those who have sacrificed their sanity in the performance of their combat duty.

About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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2 Responses to The Other Sacrifice

  1. Janice says:

    Too many multiple deployments for these young men. We are having wars now like we have never seen before.

  2. Ann Denbow Simmons says:

    Janice,I agree that part of the problem is ‘too many multiple deployments’ for our young military men and women. However, the reason for these multiple deployments is that the number of individuals in the military is less than anytime in our nations history – reason being that our military is only made up of volunteers now. We do not have a draft like other nations still have and therefore the number of individuals to send on these deployments is less. History has shown that nations who depend only on volunteers to inforce and make up their nations military strength has had the same problem.
    I am very grateful and respect greatly these men and women who have volunteered their abilities and lives to protect me, my children, grandchildren and our great nation. Without them we would not be enjoying the freedom and opportunities we enjoy including perhaps the opportunity to share this blog..
    I have worked and traveled in countries were such freedom is not only dangerous but life threatening..
    I have never understood how fellow Americans do not respect and honor those men and women who lay their lives on the line of death so that I and my family and fellow citizens can have the opportunity to live our lives in a nation that offers freedoms not known and other parts of the world. I am sure many Americans have no idea just how many nations in the world of ours (192 registered in the UN) have never known nor have the opportunity to enjoy the life that we and our families have always known. I have also worked and traveled in nations were the marshal law is strictly enforced.
    Our system may not be perfect but what is the remedy or ultimate solution?

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