LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As people celebrate the long weekend with barbecues and family get-togethers, a local veteran shared how Memorial Day means so much more.

At the core, says Bob Taylor, Memorial Day is a day to honor all men and women who have died in U.S. military service.

Taylor, war veteran and author of From Service to Success, served 11 combat missions in Iraq.

He says the best way to honor the soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice is to take care of the veterans that made it home.

“Even though we’re celebrating with barbeques and…on the beach or whatever, I still think it’s in the back of people’s minds that they remember the sacrifices that were made; the shoulders that we stand on,” said Taylor.

“I would just ask that when you say ‘thank you for your service’ that maybe we reach out a little bit more and understand where veterans are coming from and what their needs are,” Taylor continued.

Taylor did not think that his time serving in combat had impacted him, until he suffered from violent nightmares.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common among veterans than civilians.

According to the VA, at some point in their life, seven out of every 100 veterans will have PTSD.

“I think the one thing that I want veterans to understand is that they don’t have to solve all their problems alone,” he added.

Taylor hopes his book will impart ways to honor the true meaning of Memorial Day, and ways that soldiers can find new meaning in their lives.