Memorial Day Message From the Executive Director
Aaron M. Phillips | USMC Veteran
Executive Director |The Warrior Connection
As a veteran and staunch ally for veterans and military families, much like me, I’m sure you’re thinking about the significance of this weekend. For many of my friends, family, and fellow service persons, Memorial Day can be a tough one. Amid the cookouts and family trips, and time amongst friends - Memorial Day’s true spirit is one of remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation while in uniform.
Since 9/11, nearly 8,000 military members, DOD civilians, and military contractors, all US citizens, have paid the ultimate price for our country on the battlefield. Almost 16,000 more service members have died in activities unrelated to America's ongoing wars (the majority of which from issues relating to substance abuse, motor vehicle accidents, and training incidents). And, while estimates range, approximately 130,000 veterans died from suicide during that same period. Please let that sink in a moment.
As a country, we owe it to our fallen to remember all of them and to take care of those who have served this great country who are still with us, many with wounds on the inside - moral injuries that remain unhealed. Some of those wounds untreated for years, others for decades. These are the wounds that The Warrior Connection works to help heal. Of the hundreds of veterans that have attended our programs, we have not lost one, NOT ONE, to suicide.
Most of our staff and volunteers at The Warrior Connection are military veterans or military family members. Therefore, like you, today we are thinking about the true meaning of Memorial Day. Our work to support veterans and their families is our great privilege. And, we can only do this as a team, with partners, with other organizations, and with support from folks you.
On behalf of all of our staff and volunteers, we thank you for your unwavering support and commitment. Please know TWC is as committed as ever to do whatever we can to support you and the veteran community.
On this day of remembrance, I will speak their names, I will honor their memory in a positive way, and I will continue to live my life like I know they are expecting me to - in service to others and our community.
Aaron M. Phillips | Executive Director
United States Marine Corps | Veteran