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Saturday Vigil

Every Saturday, 87-year-old Estelle Margolis stands vigil on the Post Road bridge. Here she was on February 1:

(Photo/Robert Baldrich)

The other day, she wrote “06880”:

The sign breaks my heart. These “kids” are coming home with no way to deal with normal life. Their “family” is the troops they served with, and many want to go right back. We are not paying attention in this society to what I consider drastic social problems.

The Veterans Administration is overwhelmed by the needs of the returning vets. Not only the physically harmed, but the psychologically damaged. I saw a stat that the Department of Defense is dealing with over 400,000 vets in need, and they cannot handle it. There are many more now.

Where are we putting our money?  “Petty cash” on Karzai’s desk every week?  Making new weapons to kill people?  Over 8,000 vets a year killing themselves, and those are only the ones we know about. Add that to the troops still getting killed in Afghanistan. Tragic!

I don’t feel like I can do enough to make a difference. The message does get out to some motorists passing me on the bridge every Saturday morning. But only between 11 and 11:30 a.m. I can do better, but only in good weather.

Where are the college kids protesting?  Where are the Mothers for Peace? Where are the news stories about these hideous statistics?  Where are the debates in Congress?

I am the mother of every one of those incredibly courageous troops. They never could believe they would die in their 20s. Better believe it!

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