Endless Musings

This blog contains the random thoughts, feelings, and observations of a slightly "left of normal" young woman.

Friday, March 04, 2005

When the Homeland Heros Return Home

During this time of war it is very important for every American, regardless of their political beliefs, to remember the men and women in the military. These brave people signed up to serve their country (our country.) They don't decide themselves when or where to go to war. They do go, when called, into battle. Most of them sign up for military service with the belief that their country's leaders will not send them needlessly into harm's way. Most of them believe that their government will take care of any special needs they may have after fighting for their country.
Many Americans believe that our government takes good care of the veterans. It would be nice to believe that our current war time government would do its best to care for the veterans returning home from Iraq.
Unfortunately, there are many short falls in the government provided programs for veterans. These short falls have left many veterans without proper medical, dental, and psychological care. Government funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is insufficient to meet the increasing medical needs of veterans who are dependent on that system. Veterans groups such as The American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have fought for adequate funding for the VA to meet the rising costs medical care. Repeatedly, Congress has failed to deliver a timely appropriations bill for the VA. This has caused many veterans to be denied the medical care they need in a timely matter.
Many veterans returning from the war zone are faced with psychological problems. This issue is nothing new when you study the history of warfare. Unfortunately, too many vets don't get the help they need to deal with these problems. Part of the reason for this lies with the insufficient funds that groups such as the VA recieve. Another part of the problem is that many soldiers are fearful of coming forward to admit that they are suffering emotionally or psychologically after being in combat. They feel that they will be seen as "weak" if they come forward for this kind of help. Many are affraid that if they go to the VA for conseling that the VA will inform the military. Many actually believe that the VA is part of the military. The VA is not part of the military and does not release information regarding psychological care to the military.
This year alone, an estimated 500,000 veterans will become homeless. Currently, veterans account for one-thrid of the homeless population. According to the VA, veterans are statistically twice as likely to become chronically homeless. The VA says that half of the homeless veterans have some form of mental illness, and about 70% struggle with drugs and alcohol. It is estimated that while more veterans return home from Afghanistan and Iraq, and Bush's budget cuts go into efffect, even more veterans will be in dire need of care and support.
Regardless of our views on the war, it is only right for us to speak out in favor of properly supporting our veterans. Everybody can write letters to their Congressmen demanding that they pass legislation that will provide to VA sufficient funds to provide the care that's needed. You can also vist the VA's website at www.va.gov. On the VA's website you can get all the info you need to send in a donation or volunteer. The VA's website also provides up to date information on current veterans' issues.


  • At 7:03 PM, Blogger LibraryTavern Liz said…

    This anti-war activist says thanks for remembering our vets. The Republicans in power certainly don't give them much thought, so it's a good thing us liberals are supporting them.


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