There are people in this world who run from danger. When faced with the fight or flight response to a threat, they flee. There are others that run towards the danger and answer the call of duty. The front-line soldiers that protect the United States of America do so voluntarily, as they felt something inside that told them to protect their fellow citizens against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. When soldiers return home from the battlefield, they face a new enemy in returning back to civilian life. The chaos of war becomes normal and what is acceptable there isn’t back at home. Some veterans have a hard time adjusting back to civilian life and need someone to give back to them and help their transition. The current issues facing veterans run the gamut from mental health to homelessness.
Lots of veterans that come home after serving aren’t ready to come home. They become accustomed to life in the armed forces and to the chaos of war, as things only make sense to them in that context. Upon returning home, many veterans turn to substance abuse as a way of coping, which can eventually lead to homelessness. Not every veteran has a loving family waiting for them to guide them back into civilian life, and they are sometimes forced to cope on their own.
A big issue facing veterans is employment. Skills that are useful and necessary on the battlefield aren’t always transferable to the boardroom. Mots soldiers that enlist are young, right out of high school, and don’t have any job training other than what they learned in the military. Others learn skills in the service that only apply to the service. Finding a job without experience or training is difficult. Veterans that sustained injuries have an especially difficult time finding work. Their injuries prevent them from working many jobs that they might otherwise be qualified for. There are organizations and businesses that focus on hiring veterans and providing job training for them.
Looking into the future, many veterans see nothing there. They cannot imagine a path back to the civilian world and their place in it. The challenges of finding a job, a place to live, adjusting back to family life, and leading a normal life become sometimes too much for them. Seeing no other way out, they turn to the only option they think they have. For this reason, veterans need counseling and mental health services more than anyone else. They need to see their value and their place in the civilian world so they can continue to contribute to society in meaningful ways.
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