Memorial Day weekend is meant to be a time of reflection to honor the Americans who have served, so two days before the weekend the U.S. Army reached out to veterans via Twitter to ask them to share how their service had impacted their lives – and it’s easy to say it backfired.

The innocent tweet was intended to stir up stories of patriotic pride, and while some did share positive experiences about how their time gave them self-confidence, an overwhelming amount shared dark and heartbreaking tales. The stories came from both veterans themselves and people who had met or were the family of service men and women. Tales ranged from vets who had returned with debilitating posttraumatic stress disorder, to those who had ended up committing suicide.

According to reports from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, about 30% of Vietnam veterans, 12% of Gulf War veterans and 11% to 20% of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans are living with post-traumatic stress disorder. As for suicide rates the numbers are disproportionately affecting vets, with more than 6,000 veterans dying by suicide between 2008 to 2016 and an average of 20 veterans dying by suicide each day between 2013 and 2014.

The U.S Army reached out to vets on Twitter to ask how their service had impacted their lives

Image credits: USArmy

But instead of just patriotic pride, they received a thread of heartbreaking responses

#1

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ShigBit Report

Mewton’s Third Paw 3 months ago (edited)

This should be number one. It’s not just about the trauma these people face but rather the fact that it’s all based on greed, corruption, lies, and hatred of the American people at large, and anyone who isn’t in the ruling class.

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#2

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HealthLGBTQ Report

Lina S. 3 months ago

This is horrible.

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Two years ago President Donald Trump tweeted “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity,” and this year the policy has gone into effect. Lt. Col. Carla M. Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News, that it was not a ban but that “new recruits will be rejected if they’ve undergone a gender transition, that they cannot transition while in service, and they must conform to the uniform and fitness standards of their birth sex.” The estimated number of trans people serving in the military ranged from 2,150 to 15,000.

#3

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Bemundolack Report

Elisabeth Bergbom 3 months ago

First they experience war on the outside, then war on the inside. It all leaves scars. We need to talk more about this</3

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#4

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ShanusMcAnus Report

A Rose Among Thorns 3 months ago

Short but strong

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#5

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cmclymer Report

TinTin 3 months ago

Thank you for your service. I am sick that has happened.Please know you are not dishonored by many, many people in the U.S. and the world. You are a hero in my eyes.

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One out of three veterans seeking treatment for substance abuse, including alcohol use disorder, have PTSD. Overall about three-quarters of people who have survived abuse or violent trauma report that they struggle with alcohol abuse. People who struggle with PTSD and chronic pain struggle more frequently with alcohol abuse.

#6

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pIayboy182 Report

JillVille 3 months ago

This is so sad :( That poor man!

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#7

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CocoPazzo Report

Elisabeth Bergbom 3 months ago

"You guys sent him back in a box" is literally the most heartbreaking thing ever

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#8

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Catalinugh Report

Awkward Manatee 3 months ago

oh wow these... they're powerful

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study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed that only 50 percent of returning vets who need veteran mental health treatment will receive these services. Both active duty service members and veterans face barriers to treatment for mental health issues: Personal embarrassment about service-related mental disabilities, long wait times to receive mental health treatment, shame over needing to seek mental health treatment, fear of being seen as weak, Stigma associated with mental health issues, a lack of understanding or lack of awareness about mental health problems and treatment options, logistical problems, such as long travel distances in order to receive this type of care, concerns over the veteran mental health treatment offered by the VA, demographic barriers and false perceptions based on these demographics such as age or gender.

#9

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skydovva Report

The Dutches 3 months ago

I am sorry for the injustice your people have suffered.

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#10

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nohrbinary Report

Matt 3 months ago

*Disposable heroes by Metallica plays in background*

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#11

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Pennijj Report

Dani 3 months ago (edited)

"😭" doesn't cut it. I died a little inside thinking of these two brothers. One dead, one the closest thing to death that isnt, because of military duty. A family ruined. What hit me hardest was "I don't know where he is or if he's still alive." I have two siblings and can't imagine anything like this, but I'm sure that they couldn't either, until it actually happened

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#12

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shane_burley1 Report

Katri 3 months ago

I dont even know why I'm trying to explain this but here goes - logical thinking and understanding cause and effect might be significantly blurred in people suffering from PTSD. You can't even begin to comprehend the complex mindset one must be in when committing suicide.

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From 1961 to 1971, the U.S. sprayed more than 20 million gallons of various herbicides over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and according to the EPA, Agent Orange, which contains the poisonous chemical dioxin, was the most commonly used. An estimated 2.8 million U.S. vets who were exposed to Agent Orange while on-duty later died.

#13

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Trogluddite Report

Mewton’s Third Paw 3 months ago

Almost every conflict that we’ve ever been involved in has been for the express benefit of imperialist scum. It’s never been about protecting America.

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#14

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naathantyler_ Report

Jace 3 months ago

And now some fuckers think it makes some kind of dog damned sense to set off fireworks for fucking MEMORIAL Day. WTF? THREE DAYS of fireworks this weekend. Never before have I noticed fireworks set off for MEMORIAL DAY.

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#15

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CynHanrahanMcC Report

Tracee Jeen 3 months ago

I think it's hi-time we ALL talk about this.

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#16

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OttoLontra Report

Lukas Stone 3 months ago

Hold on a minute, your grandmother knocked out your uncle with a frying pan?

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#17

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TheG_ist Report

Dana 3 months ago

God, that is so sad, so young...

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#18

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JLKagubatan Report

Ladies and Gentlemen 3 months ago

Three fewer friends!!!!, boy that statement did hit me hard!

#19

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starlightmara Report

Ladies and Gentlemen 3 months ago

Jesus, that's so heartbreaking even to read... what the person is experiencing and is really living with all this is unimaginable for me. I have no words to say! :(

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#20

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krogerbranded Report

Kyana Winter 3 months ago

This one really got to me... so upsetting T_T

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#21

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currentidentity Report

Awkward Manatee 3 months ago

"haven't seen him since 1993" ...

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#22

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Dan96904742 Report

Wil Vanderheijden 3 months ago

A veteran describing how his life has fallen apart telling people to love one another. He's showing more courage then tangerine turd could ever even dream off.

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#23

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LuLuDakota Report

Mewton’s Third Paw 3 months ago (edited)

“Some folks are born Made to wave the flag Ooh, they're red, white and blue And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief" Ooh, they point the cannon at you It ain't me, it ain't me I ain't no senator's son, son It ain't me, it ain't me I ain't no fortunate one, no”

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#24

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philadelphiandi Report

Dani 3 months ago (edited)

My grandfather on my dad's side did not serve, but he grew up in a WWII-era Taiwan occupied by the Japanese. As he aged, he got dementia, and even though he loved everything Japan- Japanese was his preferred language- he hated the bombs. Planes would fly over our house and he would cry and tell us that "they" were coming and they were going to bomb us and he needed to save us. I was four years old and I didn't understand. I laughed and told him they were just jets. Then one day a couple years ago my sister reminded me of those days and I was just like "Holy frick oh my god I get it now." But my Akong is long dead and there is nothing I could do anymore. By the time I could do something, I cpuldnt. Goes to show, you don't have to serve. War is scarring all around. It may benefit the state but it destroys the individual.

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#25

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MemphisOnAir Report

Patti Brock 3 months ago

I agree!

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#26

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THE ULTIMATE PUGTATO >_< 3 months ago

I’m really sorry. Going into any type of military services can be scarring

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#27

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builtcftough Report

Dani 3 months ago

I'm- I'm done. Starting this post was a mistake. I need memes. Now.

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#28

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gallonsofcallum Report

Russian Otaku 3 months ago

Funny thing about the military is that contracts are only allowed to be broken by the military...

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#29

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Katchin05 Report

Tabatha Selina 3 months ago

Same

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#30

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vixenriah Report

Susan Nelson 3 months ago

My brother served in VietNam as a Marine Scout/Sniper. On his return home, he was afraid to sleep in-doors. He slept in our back yard for months. (Always with a rifle). He tried really hard to adjust; he married, they had a baby, he had a good job. But as a year passed, he drank and smoked and God knows what else and the gradual change in him sped up. He was killed in a motorcycle/vehicle accident in 1972 and our little family, his little family were and continue to be just wrecked. People, please understand these Vets need so much help after their service because all governments only use them as cannon fodder. They were never expected to come home alive. The U.S. Government still thinks of them as expendables and they always will.

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