Zach T. Virginia

Veteran Affairs

Our veterans are not being treated right.

Dear Next President,

Congratulations on winning the presidential race! I am Zachary Thomas and I’m in 11th grade. I’m here to address the issues concerning our veterans in our country today. Our veterans are not being treated the way I personally feel how they should.

In today’s society U.S. veterans are being treated very poorly. Barack Obama has put in a lot of money toward the Veteran Administration which provides help for vets. However, they have gone astray. A study was ran and the results concluded around 20 veterans commit suicide everyday in the U.S. That is not how vets should feel after they return from serving our country.

There are countless vets in the U.S. that suffer from PTSD. Roy R. was a combat engineer who served in Vietnam. He was responsible for building roads that troops traveled on. He said that rockets and bullets were constantly being rained down on them. After serving his country Roy left the military in 1969. Upon his return to the U.S. Roy took up some different jobs. Eventually, Roy ended up in San Diego on as a broadcaster for a radio station. This is where Roy’s PTSD kicked in. He later quit his job because of it. Roy then moved back home to Massachusetts; things then got worse and he became agoraphobic. “Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.” (Mayo Clinic) Roy drank too much and avoided people at all costs. He lived this way for about eight years before deciding to choose between suicide and getting help. Luckily he chose to get help. Many people don’t choose to get help, many just choose to end their life because their PTSD gets the better of them.

Veterans that have PTSD are more likely to commit suicide rather than the average American citizen. From 1999-2010, the suicide rate in the US population among males was 19.4 per 100,000, compared to 4.9 per 100,000 in females. While the veteran rate is; male Veteran VA users was 38.3 per 100,000, compared to 12.8 per 100,000 in females. That is only in Virginia while the first statistic is for the whole United States. There is a way veterans receive help though. Its through the Veteran Administration. This way, however, is difficult for vets to do and even if they go and look for help it may be too late to save them.

Nowadays all people want to talk about is the good things going on in the world; like what Trump’s facial emotion did to affect a debate or something unimportant like that. What they don’t want to talk about is how many veterans commit suicide in the U.S. today. According to the National Veterans Foundation the official number of veteran suicides every day is 22. They believe that 25-27 actually commit suicide everyday. This is a big issue and nobody really cares. U.S. veterans shouldn’t be feeling this way. Our veterans should be a bigger deal in today’s society and they should be able to get all the help they need.

All in all, veterans are not being treated the way they should be treated. Multiple vets commit suicide everyday because they are not being helped. There need to be more sources available to vets so they can reach out easier and get help. They go and serve our country and come back and try and kill themselves. That isn't what they should do; our veterans should be looked at like heroes. 


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Eastern View High School

AP Language & Composition

AP Language & Composition students (11th grade) from Eastern View High School in Culpeper, VA are tasked with researching platforms, crafting political cartoons or pieces of satire, and writing letters and op-eds

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