There are 18.2 million veterans in the United States. They were once the bravest men we know who risked their lives and sacrificed their time with their families just to protect our freedom. Unfortunately, many are unable to get back to the society, live a normal life, and pursue a career. What’s worse, as much as 50 percent of returning veterans suffer from mental health disorders.
Below are the biggest challenges that our veterans face and how we can help them:
Many Veterans are Unable to Find a Job
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among the Gulf War II era is 8.4%, which is 68% higher than the national unemployment rate. There are many reasons why many veterans are unable to find work. Aside from the fact that many of them have suffered from disability and major mental health problems, some veterans haven’t finished their education before entering the military which is why there are fewer opportunities for them after retirement.
Giving them the chance to develop new skills is a great way to help veterans find work. In addition to financial assistance programs from the government, there are non-profit organizations that provide free training and education to veterans.
They Suffer from Mental Trauma too
Many veterans suffer from mental health conditions, such as depression, PTSD, bipolar, and schizophrenia. In fact, 20 percent of veterans who either served in Iraq or Afghanistan have a major mental illness. Mental illness is very likely in the aftermath of traumatic events. The VA is the primary provider of care programs for veterans. Those dealing with mental health problems can make an appointment with the VA office and receive treatments for free. They should also be encouraged to join support groups to help speed up their recovery. Additionally, they can take into account personal loans for veterans to deal with their expenses, including medications.
Millions of Veterans Have Disability Problems
Millions of veterans suffer from service-connected disability. There are two disability benefits programs available for ex-military personnel. One is via the VA and another through the Social Security Disability. The VA disability benefits are created for veterans whose disability compromise their employment potential. Unfortunately, many veterans are unable to get the help they deserve because they have to go through an intensive process first. Getting a good lawyer is the first step to filing a disability claim. A good attorney can help a veteran fight for his rights. Benefits can cover not only their medical treatments but also their bills.
A Lot are Homeless
In 2017, there were over 40,000 homeless veterans which is 9 percent more than the number of homeless adults, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The disability, along with mental health problems, have led many veterans to leave their families (and vice versa). Add the unemployment issues which make it really difficult if not impossible for veterans to pay their mortgage. There is no wonder why homeless veterans continue to increase. Unemployed veterans can get in touch with the VA to apply for social security payments. There are also nonprofit organizations, such as the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans that is dedicated to helping them find a home, job, food, and training.
We Can Do More for our Veterans
Our veterans deserve more. With all the sacrifices they’ve made, it is just right that we give them high-quality care and support as they go back to the society and pursue their individual dreams and careers. Transitioning from active military life back into their normal life is one of the greatest challenges veterans face. The government has the primary role of supporting ex-military personnel especially those who have suffered from disability, mental health disorder, and financial difficulties due to unemployment and lack of education.
Companies are often helping veterans in any way they can. For example, Adaptive Clothing Company “Silvert’s Adaptive Clothing & Footwear” provides a discount for veterans who may need adaptive clothing. The ones that suffer from physical disabilities from their sacrifices to their country may find that adaptive clothing can greatly improve their lives. Adaptive clothing & footwear ranges from footwear that is wider to fit any foot deformities, to clothing that is easier to do up, replacing zippers and buttons with easy touch fastenings and magnetic closures. Open back clothing for those getting dressed with assistance. This is clothing that has snaps at the back of the garment. For tops they sit on the shoulders, and on pants they sit at the back of the waist line. The tops are designed so that a person doesn’t have to struggle with small neck holes and they don’t have to lift their arms to get garments on. The pants allow people to be dressed from a seated or lying down position. This along with many other adaptations are just one example of ways that people are able to find help to limit the daily struggle of small tasks. Silvert’s makes dressing easier.
Nonetheless, civilian groups have an important role to play in filling the gaps and providing services that the government doesn’t. Furthermore, families and relatives of these veterans should be by their side throughout all these to make their transition much easier. Relationship and self-image can change in positive ways when veterans are given the respect, appreciation, love, help, and support that they long deserve.
Author Jim Hughes is a content marketer who has significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, business, and various topics for about 3 years. He likes to share all the insight and knowledge he has.