I saved a life today
If there was nothing I could do
Then why are we training all the time?
Can you train me to stop replaying
A memory of light leaving your eyes?
Are you cold where you have gone?
Are you dark and on your own?
Do you need me there by your side
To join you there on one last ride?
You see someone has to suffer
Someone’s got to feel the pain
Someone’s got to be there for you
So I’ll join you on this day
I feel steel cold pressed against me
I prepare to write my ending
As I’m about to take it all
From the dark I hear your voice call
It’s telling me to honor you
To save the greatest life I can
That this life is my very own
It hurts to say I understand
That the battle will never end
Every day I will have to fight
But every day I save myself
Is a day I save another life
So for you I saved a life today
Written by Kephra Rubin
copyright 2015 kephra rubin
On this memorial day 2015, I chose to remember those who fell after the battle had already ended. What I’ve learned from interviews I’ve done for my writing, it’s that anyone who has been there, in the thick of battle, or deep in a fire, or holding a patient’s life in their hands, there’s no telling how close anyone is to such a choice. To ignore it or write it off as an act of cowardice is blindness. To those taken after the battle ended, you are not forgotten, either.
Soldiers aren’t alone.
According to FBHA 46 Firefighters committed suicide since the start of this year
In recent years more soldiers have taken their own lives than were lost to combat
Approximately 125 police officers will fall by their own hand each year
It was difficult to find statistics for EMS but in a six month period in 2014 I found a total of 23 articles detailing suicides.
These numbers are difficult to confirm. Aside from the difficulty in compiling, often these statistics only include deaths while on the job and often do not include those of volunteer emergency services.
During research I found many articles detailing how many members of these services will not come forward about their pain because they fear being removed from the job as a result. For anyone suffering that does not feel comfortable using traditional channels to seek help, feel free to contact me to talk, completely anonymous. I stay in touch with a few veterans I interviewed for a novel I wrote and they all say that just talking about it helped greatly. Even if all you do is create a throwaway email account, write me a long letter and then move on, getting it out helps.
When you save yourself, you save a life.
Thanks for reading.
Veteran’s hotline: 1-800-273-8255
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Coming Soon: Walk Through the Valley Novel Series featuring stories inspired by interviews with combat veterans from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea. Subscribe for the update when the novels release.