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Honoring our Military Heroes

The DeMarco Project Speaks
Honoring our Military Heroes
By Kim J. Clark Aka Expanding Love
As a new columnist for the Detroit Native Sun, it is an honor to have this platform to reach
members of the community who may be a veteran, a friend of a veteran or military family
member. The intent is to share information that will be beneficial to veterans, as well as help
civilians understand the special needs of many individuals who have served in the armed forces.
We are in the habit of telling veterans, “Thank you for your service.” While this is a nice
gesture, have you ever paused to really consider the sacrifices made by these courageous
individuals? Their “service” includes; loss of limbs; mental health issues such as post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST) depression and night terrors. In addition,
many veterans experience homelessness. In many cases their families, spouses and children end
up homeless as well. This is a huge issue among veteran women and their children.
Let’s not forget about those we cannot thank… the men and women who have lost their lives at
the hand of the enemy. Equally as devastating, on average, 22 veterans commit suicide on a daily
bases due to issues surrounding the harsh realities of war… this writer’s youngest son was one of
them.
Numbed by what happened to my son, I decided the best way to honor him was to become a
voice for those who suffer in silence, unable to get the care they need. Thus, The DeMarco
Project was born. Our veterans’ program was established to serve enlisted men and women
embarking upon civilian life; to receive support through a bridge program providing case
management beginning prior to honorable discharge. Part of our mission is to ensure that
veterans experience a healthy quality of life as we honor them for the great personal sacrifices
they made to serve and defend this country.
We must honor those who have kept our borders safe so that we can live free. One of the ways
we can do this is to take the time to learn how to interact in a healthy way with traumatized
veterans. Future articles will address the mental health issues; feature interviews with the
experts, veterans who have successfully transitioned into mainstream civilian life; and health
care professionals who serve veterans. I invite you to use the tools and insights shared in this
column to show our support and gratitude for the sacrifice these heroic men and women have
made.
We have the responsibility to take care of those who at great personal loss, have taken care of us.
Together, as a community, we can embrace our veterans and demonstrate our appreciation by the
words we use, and way we interact.
Kim is the mother of a veteran who loved his country and was willing to lay his life down for the
freedoms he believed in. She is the President of The DeMarco Project, Non-profit organization.
  • Her life’s mission it to save veteran lives and improve the quality of life for traumatized military
    service persons. If you would like to support her in the work, donations are welcome. Visit the
    website; www.TheDeMarcoProject.org.

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