Dear Future President-
America; the land of the free and the home of the brave. How true is it? What do we do to give back to the people risking their lives for the security of of ours? Not very much. As president you need to fix this, our veterans should not be coming home and ending up on the streets. They should be supported financially, medically and most of all honored not thrown to the side and forgotten.
This is nothing new, just an old problem that no one has ever fixed. My grandfather recalls getting home from Vietnam in the 60’s and being harassed in public, literally spit apaun and worse. And as if that's not bad enough he struggled with PTSD and difficulty readjusting to civilian life. Luckily he had support from family & friends to help him find his way, but what happens to the ones who don't? The ones who come home to no one and are unable to support themselves? This is an issue that can no longer be ignored.
Although the amount of people going out of their way to be disrespectful to veterans has definitely decreased, but we still don’t give them much support. According to “ Heroes or hopeless? Homeless veterans caught in a dysfunctional system” By Margaret A. Costello, There were 67,495 homeless veterans accounted for in january of 2011. This number is way too high to not do something about. They willingly go to fight for our country knowing the harsh reality of not returning the same they left, if returning at all. And are left after to fend for themselves.
There are nearly 2 million veterans that can’t afford health insurance suffering various degrees of mental health issues such as PTSD or substance abuse and/or serious physical issues. According to “President Obama and First Lady Garner Recognition for Leadership to End Veteran Homelessness” Stress that occurs as a result of deployment and exposure to combat and the difficulty the large majority of vets experience readjusting to civilian life is linked to a higher percent of homelessness. So, instead of helping them recover, we just leave it up to them. Not showing any sympathy to the fact they’re in this state because of what they went through for our country's safety. The least we could do is help them get on their feet after returning home, if not supporting them for longer.
To fix this problem we need to activate a plan allowing increased access to housing, healthcare, and income support for veterans and their families. The estimated number of HUD-VASH (supportive housing) centers needed to be opened to end chronic homeless within vets is said to be around 60,000 according to “President Obama and First Lady Garner Recognition for Leadership to End Veteran homelessness”. Opening these centers would give the ones struggling an outlet for help, food, and shelter.
But while we are waiting for the federal government to do finally their part we can start doing things close to home, such as at schools and churches. Fundraisers are great ways to make a difference, or at the least just spreading awareness to this problem that people seem to be turning a blind eye toward. And hopefully putting an end to this issue once and for all.