What do 26 presidents, 219 astronauts, and 3 supreme court justices have in common? They are all part of the 21 million veterans who have served in the United States military.
Every year, on November 11th, the United States celebrates the men and women who have fought in the armed forces.
However, although these brave men and women may get recognition on this day every year, they don’t always get the support they need. Though their good deeds deserve much praise, when they come home, the welcoming arms they deserve are not always found.
As we celebrate Veteran’s Day this week, we look at the ongoing struggle our Veterans face when they return home. To learn about the history of this day, read our earlier article HERE.
A Veteran’s Return Home
As you might imagine, serving overseas is very different compared to everyday life as a civilian in the United States. However, when a soldier returns home, they are expected to assimilate back into civilian life nearly right away. They return to their families, their jobs, and their old lifestyles.
Though these actions seem like nothing much, many veterans who come back from war often find it difficult, or even impossible, to return to a “normal” life. Soldiers who were trained for war feel displaced amongst the common folk. Tensions between family members can lead to many issues such as divorce and familial conflicts.
One of the most prominent reasons why veterans are unable to live normal lives is because they develop PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental illness that happens to veterans who have gone through traumatic events during the war. Victims of PTSD are tense and easily startled, which is problematic because their body reacts using a “fight or flight” response to common events. As a result, many veterans are unable to find jobs and function regularly in society.
Disabilities, disorders, and lack of college education are why more than 246,000 veterans are currently jobless.
There are some programs that are trying to address the needs of servicemembers when they return home. The Veterans Administration Supportive Housing program attempts to make housing for veterans more affordable. Additionally, the US Department of Veteran Affairs contributed 92.7 billion dollars worth of funds towards veteran employment and educational programs in 2015.
These programs are a great step towards rehabilitating veterans and giving them the opportunity they deserve. However, in order to solve this issue, more focus needs to be aimed towards helping veterans in their transition to civilian life.
We must remember the sacrifice that these men and women have made for us. It is only right that we honor them and provide them with all the necessary resources to assimilate back into American society.