Saturday, May 17, is Armed Forces Day. Even though it isn’t celebrated like other holidays and we don’t use it as an excuse for a three-day weekend, this day serves as a reminder that we have personnel deployed at military bases around most of the world.

These bases are staffed by our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and neighbors serving in all branches of the military.

When my children went into the military following a family tradition, I wrote a letter every day during their training. During their schooling, I wrote twice a month, and when they were done and settled into their duties, I wrote to them once a month. My daughter served 10 years in the Air Force as a pilot and speech pathologist; my son served four years in the Marine Corps as a combat engineer and electrical contractor.

Now with the ever-present threat of future wars, it is very important to remember all those serving in our military. I urge everyone to send a letter, card or email to someone in the military just to let them know you care about and miss them while they serve their missions elsewhere.

In closing, I wonder if perhaps a lack of such communications with family and loved ones may sometimes contribute to the escalating suicide rate among our military?

Frank SlasonSomerville

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