U.S. Army Asks Veterans ‘How Has Serving Impacted You?’ And It Does Not Go The Way They’d Expected At All

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Army’s Twitter account asked active duty and veteran soldiers to share stories about how serving had affected their lives—and, well, it didn’t go so bueno.

While the Army’s heart (or at least their social media agency’s heart) was likely in the right place, it does seem a little tone deaf to celebrate only the victories and positives that come from serving (and there are plenty) while ignoring the heartbreaking negatives. 

I’ll be upfront in saying this is a pretty sad post, but as a former service member, and as someone with friends and family who’ve never fully recovered from their time as soldiers, I felt it worth a share on Memorial Day.

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According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD is a common affliction in veterans. Around 11-20% of soldiers who served in the Iraq War or the war in Afghanistan have PTSD, reports the VA, and at least 30% of Vietnam War veterans have PTSD.

The department has also found that of the 20 million veterans in the United States, fewer than half actually receive benefits from the VA. Furthermore, suicide rates among veterans have been on the rise across the nation.

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While the raw, devastating reactions were certainly not what the Army had in mind, they followed up their initial inquiry with a message of support:

If you are a veteran in need of help, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

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