For some, Memorial Day means lake time with the family, but for others in the armed services and their family members, it holds a deeper meaning.
“I’m proud I was in the service and did what I did, but I sure as heck don’t want to do it again,” said 94 year old Robert Lants who served in U.S. Navy in WWII.
Lants was a P.O.W. in a Japanese concentration camp for years, before he was rescued. He says he lost 36 friends due to starvation there. Lants says like many of his fellow veterans, his time in the service left him with many scars, including post traumatic stress disorder.
“It showed me things that I’d never seen I’d never thought of before and I did things i never thought I’d do,” said Vietnam Veteran Martin Jordan.
Martin Jordan also has P.T.S.D. he served two years in Vietnam, and says he didn’t enjoy being in the military, and the experience robbed him of his innocence so for him memorial day is something he tries to ignore.
“I’ve been busy all day cleaning all day trying to fix things up trying to avoid thinking about it,” said Jordan.
But Lants thinks its important to commemorate the fallen heroes– even if that means sitting through the pain.
“I sat there through the ceremony and thought about the ones that died in prison camp,” said Lants.
Both Lants and Jordan say they are proud to be Americans, and agree Demorial Day is a wound that is reopened every year, but Jordan says every time a wound is reopened, it gets stronger and has the opportunity to heal a little more each time.
“The bond formed between combat veterans is strong we’ve all been there so we know,” said Jordan
Lants and Jordan say for troops returning home, the transition can be rough, especially for those suffering from P.T.S.D.
They say the best treatment is to reach out for help from other members in the Armed Forces, because they most readily understand what each other are going through.