Reprinted by permission of the author
Hello my name is Bradley Byrd.
General Douglas MacArthur stated: "It is my earnest hope - indeed the hope of all mankind - that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish and freedom, tolerance, and justice."
General Douglas MacArthur was a famous general in World War II. I believe that this quote still stands true for today. Young men have sacrificed their lives and have been wounded because they believe in freedom and loved our country. My dad is one of them. He joined the Army when he was 18 and fought in Desert Storm before I was born and he went to Iraq when I moved back to California.
When my dad came back from Iraq he was not the dad I remembered. My dad had flashbacks about all of his friends that died and my dad suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). You might not know this but I suffer from PTSD and many kids like me also have this problem. To explain PTSD it is something bad that you remember and sometimes you see it happening again in your mind. It causes you to be angry and can make you do and say things that you can't control. Some people don't realize they are out of control. Many soldiers have had to do terrible things in war and having flashbacks can affect marriages and families because of their actions. A lot of veterans are living on the streets because sometimes they don't realize they are sick. It bothers me that people don't help and treat them with disrespect. Our government doesn't even treat them with respect. I remember when my family was together and we did not have enough food and clothes. We got a lot of clothes that were worn by other kids.
When my dad came back from Iraq my mom and dad fought and didn't get along. My dad would get angry easily and hurt my brothers, my sister, and me. We were taken away from my parents and got saved by my grandparents.
There are other kids that aren't so lucky because they have been taken out of their homes; separated and put in foster homes. This effects our country because they don't see their parents and their families were happy before their parent went to war. And all the kids memories are gone forever. I wish the government would help them more.
My mom is doing better and we have been able to see her more. My dad has a new family and lives in Oklahoma.
I haven't seen my dad for a long time and I miss him very much. I hope someday he will get help for his PTSD and we will be able to see him again.
My speech is about respecting the American soldiers that give up their lives and families to fight for our freedom and save the country. Thank you for listening to my story.