To the editor:
I would like this to be seen by everyone that can read. It has taken many years for PTSD to make the headlines as much as it has today. Our veterans from earlier wars, campaigns, and many other ruthless engagements never had much of a homecoming or the support that should have been given. No one ever really thought to prepare them to come home, which is a war in itself.
Operation Open Arms is an organization that provides that homecoming and comfort that so many veterans past and present long for. My wife and I have had the pleasure to experience the hospitality and extreme selflessness Operation Open Arms has shown us since coming back from Afghanistan just recently. I personally would like to thank Captain John "GiddyUp" Bunch, the founder of Operation Open Arms, for making this homecoming such a pleasant experience for my family and me. I felt as if I came home to a much bigger family than what I left with. One of the most pleasant experiences I've ever had was coming home and being taken care of by other veterans and patriotic people I've never met in my life. Because of them and their actions, it reminded me that no matter where I deploy to and how many times I have to leave my family, my back will always be covered.
The contributors to Operations Open Arms are what makes the heart beat. Most of these are veterans that never received the kind of treatment that they have shown me. So I would like to personally thank them as well. They all showed the true meaning of camaraderie; something that few people understand except those who have it.
Many young service men and women that come home today have some form of PTSD or an undeniable large amount of stress adjusting back to normal everyday life. Many veterans have sadly taken their own lives, alienated themselves from their own families, and traveled down the wrong path in life looking for something to replace the lost time from a deployment or deal with the experiences they brought back with them. It is our responsibility as citizens, a community, and as fellow veterans to ensure we take care of our men and women coming home. It's the actions of Operation Open Arms and its founder that represents the foundations of what this country was built on.
So I'm hoping and praying that support for this type of charity and organization be spread out as far as media can take it. Our veterans past and present deserve it. Thank you Operation Open Arms for everything you've done.
Sgt. Sean E. Adair / U.S. Marine Corps