The wars continue here at home

Published 8:14 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

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On Memorial Day 2024, American Legion Post 70-Troy placed a monument at Troy’s Bicentennial Park in honor of American soldiers for whom the war never ended.

Bob McLendon, post commander, said soldiers die on battle fields in distant places and  soldiers also come home and die as the result of the hauntings of war.

“Too often, soldiers leave the war but the war never leaves them. Every day and every night they are at war,” McLendon said. “It is good and right that we remember them and honor their service.”

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Sharon Ealey lost a son to the hauntings of war.

“My family is military and Keith wanted to serve his country,” his mother said. “So, he first joined the National Guard and joined the Army after 9-11. He served two tours, eight years, in Iraq. What he witnessed changed his life… took his life.”

When Keith Ealey’s military service ended, he found no comfort in home

“Keith could not escape the horror of the things he had seen,” his mother said. “Little children who were used as human bombs and dying solders who cried for help. Things too horrible for words.”

Kealey’s mom said her son could not personally deal with the mental war he was fighting. VA hospitals were unable to bring resolution to his personal war.

In Keith Ealey’s mind, every loud noise was an exploding bomb and every person was an enemy and, when he closed his eyes, he continued fighting a never-ending war.”

Sharon Ealey said her son’s personal war finally ended with this death.

He left behind those who loved and cared for him, including his three children.

Keith Ealey left those he loved and the life he had envisioned. He loved his country and was willing to leave his home, his family and his way of life to join the military. His hope and prayer was that he would come home. He came home but his war was not over.

“When Keith was fighting his own personal war, he had to fight it alone … and he lost.”