Addie L. Texas

Assistance for veterans

American veterans are struggling due to the lack of health and financial care.

Dear future President of the United States,

Imagine a world where returning soldiers are welcomed with open arms, and receive the benefits they need. Imagine if veterans did not have to face homelessness and poverty without financial help. What if they had access to physical and mental therapy? The veterans of America fought for our freedom, so we should be able to provide them with physical, mental, and financial support.

Many veterans return from war with physical disabilities and injuries that require therapy and treatment. This treatment can often be expensive, and many veterans do not have the money to pay for it. “Almost 2 million veterans are without health insurance, along with 3.8 million members of their households, a new study finds.” (abc news) The government needs to find a way to provide health insurance to the veterans and their families. “ Among the 1.8 million uninsured veterans, 12.7 percent are under 65. In addition, the number of uninsured veterans has increased by 290,000 between 2000 and 2004, according to the report in the Oct. 30 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.”(abc news) If veterans received the health care they need, their lives would be less stressful and more enjoyable.

After returning home from combat, many veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This disorder affects many veterans, and changes the way they live their lives. “Today, hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women and recent military veterans have seen combat. Many have been shot at, seen their buddies killed, or witnessed death up close. These are types of events that can lead to PTSD.” (medline plus) Veterans need counseling and therapy to help deal with their PTSD, and the government should provide this care for them. “Vietnam War: About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.” (US Department of Veteran Affairs) If these veterans were encouraged to receive help and therapy, it would make their lives and their families lives much happier.

Some veterans struggle to adjust to a civilian life post-combat. For some, that can result in substance abuse, which would make finding a stable job to support themselves and their family a challenge. Without a job, they would be at risk of homelessness. “In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.” (NCHV) Society owes these veterans care and support. Our communities should create opportunities for veterans to overcome substance abuse and find stable jobs.

In conclusion, I believe that the government and our communities should make more of an effort to support veterans in difficult times. The veterans of America fought for our freedom, so we should work to provide them with the care and support they need.