I couldn’t even read the bios out loud without feeling a lump in my throat. As we prepared for our coverage of the Green Carpet Event at Smith & Wollensky’s iconic Castle location in Boston, where they announced their support of a group called The Mission Continues, our whole crew was somber and quiet.
It’s not that what we do is trivial. But we can edit out the bad parts. We can do a retake, a rewrite, a do over.
America’s soldiers don’t always get that opportunity.
And when they return home after service, they carry scars. We may be able to see those that they carry on their bodies—the lost limbs, the visible scars. But we don’t usually recognize the invisible battle scars.
I learned that phrase from Natasha Young, who served for 12 years as a Marine and came home with invisible scars. Her life changed, she says, when she found The Mission Continues. We’ll show her story to you, along with that of Jeffrey Hall, who also benefitted from the non-profit organization.
So thanks to Smith & Wollensky for stepping up and helping our soldiers with the transition back to civilian life. It’s been a bit emotional—like when we read our scripts to some of the principles with The Mission Continues, and had a hard time getting through the story.
You see, even for seasoned journalists it’s hard not to get a bit emotional when it comes to our country and its veterans. We’ve all seen the battle-scarred men and women honored in the Veteran’s Day Parade. We’ve heard the stories of post-traumatic stress disorder and its impact on people; we’ve heard how those who served in some wars received a less than stellar welcome home.
In other words, we haven’t always supported those who support and defend.
It’s nice to see it changing. It’s nice to know that when you go up to a stranger in uniform and say, “Thank you,” they know what you mean—that you don’t want to disturb them, but that their sacrifice has meaning to you and is appreciated. It’s nice that political affiliations can be put aside in favor of devotion to our country.
It’s nice to see a restaurant company step up and take on part of the challenge.
We don’t see all of the scars, but we can help to heal them anyway. And our veterans need to know that we care. They need to know that we support them, during their military service and beyond.
So work through that lump in your throat, that emotion, that feeling that something is bigger than you.
Because it is.
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