Memorial Day brings on ‘survivor guilt’ for some veterans, active duty members

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Memorial Day isn't a time to relax for everyone. For members of the armed forces who served and continue serving, it can stir up debilitating emotions.

"This day is about the sacrifice, it's not about what's on sale," Keith Poole, facilitator with Operation Restored Warrior, said. "But, I assure you that those that paid that ultimate for our nation, they would want you to enjoy it."

Poole's watched members of the armed forces struggle to move forward.

"You've seen friends of yours, buddies, I mean people that you were close to that have died in service to this country," Poole said. "Often times, those circumstances, you wonder why them and not me."

Operation Restored Warrior, a non-profit organization, helps military members deal with their experiences through relying on faith. Poole is calling for moments of unity this Memorial Day.

"Join us for 65 seconds of prayer," Poole challenged. "Sixty-five seconds to pray for the families of those that had loved ones that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and also to pray for those veterans that may be suffering from survivor's remorse that may be contemplating joining them."

Statistics show between 20 and 35 veterans and warriors take their own lives every day. Poole doesn't want anyone to add to those numbers.

"Please, reach out to us at Operation Restored Warrior and let's talk," Poole said. "We will work to get you set free of that."

If anyone is in desperate need of immediate help, call the Veterans Crisis line at 1-800-273-8255.

If you are interested in learning more about Operation Restored Warrior, visit operationrestoredwarrior.org.