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
Community Member
1 year 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.
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year ago

Short but strong

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#5

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cmclymer Report

TinTin
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year ago

This is so sad :( That poor man!

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#7

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CocoPazzo Report

Elisabeth Bergbom
Community Member
1 year ago

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

Dani
Community Member
1 year ago

@BenSmith: No. He is a hero yes but you are WRONG. This should not have happened... We're supposed to be better than this...

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Steve Cruz
Community Member
1 year ago

In his wiz-dumb, George W Bush put an end to news reports showing returning coffins and injured soldiers. Laura Bush justified the concealment, saying: "Who wants to look at that?"

Delilah Jones
Community Member
1 year ago

It is sad, but as a Veteran, we all know what we signed up for and what could happen to us if we are deployed.

Ayasophya Alturas
Community Member
1 year ago

O,.O sad af

Warren Hill
Community Member
1 year ago

I knew him, He wrote my letter of recommendation for OCS, I was classed up when I heard he died, I am sorry for you lost, I cried like a baby when I saw his name on Memorial day.

Chad Millard
Community Member
1 year ago

Volunteer.

Suzy Breen
Community Member
1 year ago

So, so sorry.

Suzy Breen
Community Member
1 year ago

So sad. No words...

Lukas Stone
Community Member
1 year ago

Wait do they mean Lieutenant Colonel by LtC? If so he should not have been in combat.

Whothehell Cares
Community Member
1 year ago

Sadly, as many non combatants as combatants are killed in war, sometimes many more non combatants.

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number 9 with a coke please
Community Member
1 year ago

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im sorry but this is what it takes to keep what we have. I have not right to talk as i have lost no one to war. Just an outsiders perspective.

THE ULTIMATE PUGTATO >_<
Community Member
1 year ago

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Its ok to be angry but don’t get mad at the U.S. army for your friends choice after all I bet he saved a lot of people and he will always be remembered.

blubfisher
Community Member
1 year ago

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C
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

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This girl did definitely not like to be touched there by her father. She looks very agonized. This picture is not positive for me.

TheKnightOwl
Community Member
1 year ago

Are you for real? You have no idea the context of this picture. It's people like you who make men feel like they can't even change a child's clothes or diaper without being seen as perverted. This young girl could have been feeling unwell, she could have been having a sulk about being told no, she could have been uncomfortable having photos taken, she could have been smiling most of the time and changed her face just as the shutter clicked, she could have been sad that her father was about to leave the family yet again. Do not assume. The man is dead for goodness sake.

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#8

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Catalinugh Report

Awkward Manatee
Community Member
1 year 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

Ishi Ishi
Community Member
1 year ago

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Gay rat wedding minister? Lol

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#10

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nohrbinary Report

Matt
Community Member
1 year ago

*Disposable heroes by Metallica plays in background*

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#11

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Pennijj Report

Dani
Community Member
1 year 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

brandon sat
Community Member
1 year ago

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im calling bs, why would he take a handful of sleeping pills and then shoot himself in the head? why would you need the pills?

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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

USA-Army-Serving-Stories-Memorial-Day-Part2

Trogluddite Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year 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

earringnut
Community Member
1 year ago

No one hardly ever talks about this.

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#16

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OttoLontra Report

Lukas Stone
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year ago

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

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#18

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JLKagubatan Report

Ladies and Gentlemen
Community Member
1 year ago

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

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#19

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starlightmara Report

Ladies and Gentlemen
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year ago

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

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#21

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currentidentity Report

Awkward Manatee
Community Member
1 year ago

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

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#22

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Dan96904742 Report

Alex K
Community Member
1 year ago

newsflash: they wouldnt participate in a war anyway. usa is the bad guy.

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#23

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LuLuDakota Report

Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 year 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

Patti Brock
Community Member
1 year ago

This broke my heart....

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#25

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MemphisOnAir Report

Patti Brock
Community Member
1 year ago

I agree!

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#26

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Matthew05761231 Report

THE ULTIMATE PUGTATO >_<
Community Member
1 year 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
Community Member
1 year 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

Suzy Breen
Community Member
1 year ago

Always promises. So sorry.

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#29

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Katchin05 Report

Tabatha Selina
Community Member
1 year ago

Same

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#30

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vixenriah Report

Susan Nelson
Community Member
1 year 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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