Did the Army's Memorial Day tweet backfire — or remind us all what Memorial Day is really about?

Elizabeth Howe
May 28, 2019 - 7:58 am

Photo courtesy of DVIDS

Ahead of Memorial Day last week, the U.S. Army posted a tweet that asked, "How has serving impacted you?" Over the weekend, more than 12,000 people responded. 

Many of the responses echo the original response that the Army posted with the tweet — Pfc. Nathan Spencer describing the opportunity to "serve something greater than myself." But these responses are mixed in among countless stories of suicide, mental health issues, and sexual assault. 

Some responders started to question whether these answers could possibly have been the Army's intention when they posted the original tweet. But whether it was intentional or not — it served as a necessary reminder of what Memorial Day is truly about. 

"Some say this thread back-fired but this is just the thread that is needed each Memorial Day so we remember the sacrifices military members and their families make and how we as a country need to understand the true cost of service and improve our support," Mike Schmidt tweeted.

The Army responded on Saturday with a series of tweets thanking everyone for their responses, committing to keep in mind those who return home with invisible scars, and offering the Veteran Crisis Line as a resource. 

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the Veteran Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 (select option 1 for a VA staff member). Veterans, service members or their families also can text 838255 or go to veteranscrisisline.net.

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