Jayson C. Montana

Homeless Veterans In The U.S.

The amount of homeless veterans in the U.S. is incredibly high it has reached a total of over 45,000. The majority of homeless veterans usually have a mental illness, ptsd, or a physical disability that makes it harder for them to acquire a job.

To the next president of the United States I would like to bring up a topic that isn't very well known and looked at as a huge problem. Men and women all across the U.S are coming back from war that are struggling physically and mentally, and not getting the support from the government they should. I've seen this first hand with my dad who served 17 years active duty and was injured badly in Iraq. He went through years and years of physical therapy and still has problems with his body, yet he is still in the army working in the operations help unit (required to send more men and women over seas) and is going on his 26th year in the army. He and countless number of others have had problems such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other physical injuries that are hard to adjust to everyday life.

A huge issue comes from the VA (Veterans Affairs) and how outdated and unhelpful they really are, I’m not saying they haven’t helped countless number of veterans but there are more veterans they could help. Commissioners have stated that veterans deserve better in an interview on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/veterans-administration-va/). The VA has had many problems and 2 million dollars was put into fixing them and has actually made things worse for helping vets. The VA had many deficiencies such as flawed governance, insufficient staffing, inadequate facilities, antiquated IT systems and inefficient use of employees. They have even made a new system called the choice program which does nothing but increase wait time for vets up to months but this does nothing but aggravate people and make things worse. At this time in the US if a Veteran needs to see a private care provider at the VA he/she must wait up to 30 days or live within 40 miles of a VA office and now commissioners are pushing to clear this so vets can set appointments to any provider in their area which will cause less stress among veterans and get them the care they need and yet this still hasn't happened, why?

In the U.S. alone there is an enormous number of homeless vets with a total of 49,993. That is crazy, I can barely comprehend that almost 50,000 vets have come back from war and have become homeless. A lot of the Veterans that have ended up homeless are mainly male according to National Alliance to End Homelessness (http://www.endhomelessness.org/library/entry/fact-sheet-veteran-homelessness), and most are from the Vietnam War (that puts them about the age of 50-60). Most these men and women are homeless because they have returned from war with a mental illness or physical disorder and can't acquire a job ifthey have a previous record of substance abuse. Many occurrences with homeless veterans is they have PTSD or another type of mental illness that causes them to struggle with every day life. Veterans have the same problems as all Americans with finding a house or place to live they can afford, but veterans have more then likely a mental illness or PTSD, or a substance abuse problem that makes it harder for these individuals. I believe that veterans should be helped through counseling or medicine to stop these illnesses and get veterans a normal life again, it’s the least the U.S government can’t do for them.

Put yourself in my shoes growing up as a kid knowing your dad was over fighting to protect you with millions of other men and women risking there lives every day to save yours. Having him come back but not the same way he left, with injuries all over his body but the biggest one not being physical, PTSD. Anger, can’t do the same things as he used to, trouble talking to new people or even old friends. This happens all across America to a lot of soldiers coming back from war, it is incredibly hard for them to adjust and cope to PTSD or another mental illness. The U.S government has systems in place to help these men and women the VA system and for homeless vets there is the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) but yet the number of homeless vets is increasing? The Veterans with mental problems or physical problems shouldn't be tossed aside and not helped as much as possible they should get maximum care as possible and helped back on their feet. Without them there's a chance you wouldn't be on yours now. Thank you for reading my thoughts on what needs to be dealt with and helped in America at this time.