Veterans Day ceremonies honor the nation’s current and former service members
Veterans Day ceremonies across the country honor the nation’s current and former service members. The holiday marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Young veterans easing back into life after war
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun
5:14 p.m. EST, November 10, 2012
Joseph Bathgate calls them “the Hollywood questions.”
When college classmates learn he was a machine gunner for the Marine Corps for two tours in Iraq, they want to know: Did anyone ever shoot at you? Ever get hit?
And there’s the big one.
You ever kill anyone?
“It’s unusual, I understand that, what I’ve done,” says Bathgate, 24, of Dundalk, now out of the military and studying kinesiology at Towson University. “Still, it’s annoying. … Naturally, I feel different” from the other, mostly younger students on campus.
It’s a feeling shared by many. More than a decade of war has minted a new generation of veterans: Two and a half million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001.
The challenges now confronting some of them are well-documented: limbs lost, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury; an unemployment rate greater than the national average; an alarming incidence of suicide.
But others describe a more subtle challenge: the difficulty of returning to civilian life in a society that generally appreciates their service — but doesn’t always understand it.