We’ve all heard of the horrors of war. We’ve heard the tragic stories of soldiers and what they had to go through. However, many people don’t realize that many of these soldiers face many problems after the war. In books such as those written by Francis J. Dutch, we realize that veterans face many problems in various aspects of their lives. Somehow, the struggles from the war do not end once they leave, but it continues even if they have stopped serving the army.
What are Veterans?
A veteran is someone who has served in the military, naval, or air service during their lifetime and was discharged from their duties. Most of the time, the conditions of their discharge are anything other than dishonorable. Most of the time, this includes any individual who has completed any branch of armed forces.
In the U.S. alone, there are around 18 million veterans. Compared to before, veterans now are more diverse than they were in the past. The diversity can be seen in differences in age, gender, and race and having a more comprehensive range of family backgrounds. Many troops are currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, they serve more extended deployments with shorter intervals at home between missions.
What are the issues veterans face?
After they return home, many veterans have difficulty finding a job. Most of the time, people who go to the military are usually straight out of high school. Because of this, they could never practice in a field they may have wanted. Even if they could go to college for a few years or start working, most of them have a “gap” in their resume since they were not working in the field they wished to work in during the time they served.
Because of this, it makes it very difficult for them to find jobs and be hired in a very competitive workplace. With many fresh graduates or people with more experience in a field, these people often cannot get jobs that pay a lot, especially in places with issues of unemployment or underemployment.
Thirty percent of homeless people are veterans. This is because many veterans suffer from drug addiction and mental illness after being discharged and are unable to pay the bills that would help them keep their homes. Moreover, since many have difficulty finding jobs that could help them support themselves, they often do not have enough money and resort to living on the streets.
3. Physical Handicaps
Injuries such as amputations, disfigurements, and scars can be sustained in combat. Most of the time, this makes it difficult for them to get a job because of the discrimination many companies have over people with handicaps and physical barriers that make it difficult for them to do their work.
4. Mental Health Issues
Many people suffer from mental health concerns after being discharged, especially depression and PTSD. There is usually a social stigma attached to mental issues, making it difficult for most of them to get treated officially. Aside from that, the cost can be very high when trying to get mental health treatment.
Ways to Help Out Veterans:
Suppose you’ve never heard of DAV or Disabled Americans Veterans Charity. In that case, it is a nonprofit organization that helps veterans by giving veterans transportation to medical appointments and helping them with getting their benefits claims. As for DAV, you could support them by donating, but you could also volunteer by helping them run errands.
2. Help them Get Hired
Most of the time, veterans’ issue is getting accepted and finding jobs. Nonprofit organizations like Hire Heroes USA often help veterans secure jobs outside the military. Most of the time, they help them through career counseling, resume editing, and mentorship.
Sometimes you could also help them out from your own home by helping them conduct mock interviews, industry expertise, and counseling over the phone.
3. Say Thank You
A “thank you” always goes a long way. Most of the time, a simple act of saying thank you and telling them that they could make an impact in others’ lives often helps them remember that what they did was helpful and worth it. Operation Gratitude is also a great way to show people gratitude to veterans and support veterans by sending letters, postcards, and care packages to veterans and military personnel.