According to data from the Department of Defense, about 1,300 military service members, along with their spouses and their children. The transition of civilian life is one of the most difficult for a veteran. They face some very serious challenges making this transition, and sadly, many are not successful.
Many veterans, especially the disabled ones, are unable to find gainful employment once they return home. Many of them, particularly those who enlisted straight out of high school, do not even have the educational qualifications to apply for most jobs.
Lack of Education
The biggest roadblock that veterans face is their lack of education. As mentioned earlier, a large number of them enlist straight out of high school. Besides, the military training they get in the forces does not cover life skills related to managing in civilian life. Added to that, most veterans do not get any training on how to handle jobs once they leave the forces.
Many veterans try to get back to school once they are discharged. However, their unique situation makes it difficult for them to acclimate. There are too many psychological issues they face because of which they are not able to integrate easily back into civilian society.
Organizations such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American do as much as they can to provide education opportunities to veterans.
About one-third of all the homeless in the US are veterans. Those suffering from PTSD and are not treated frequently fall prey to drug and alcohol addiction. These high-risk behaviors make them a danger to themselves and those around them. This leads to increased mental instability as well as homelessness.
Another reason for such high rates of homelessness is because of unemployment or the inability of veterans to find jobs that pay enough, leading them to miss out on mortgage payments and eventually losing their homes.
Organizations such as the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans help such veterans with housing, food, job training as well as health services.
Deteriorating Mental Health
Depression and suicide have sadly become quite common among veterans. This is in part because of the stigma attached to getting help for mental issues, which causes many not to get treated for their PTSD. This also leads to cases of violence, which may lead to the involvement of a personal injury lawyer because of lawsuits against the veterans.
The Veterans Crisis Line has been created to help those veterans who are either depressed or suicidal.
There are countless veterans who have crippling physical injuries because of which they are unable to work at all. While claims for support can be made to the Department of Veteran Affairs. The challenge is that the filing of claims is a long process, and the agency is so overwhelmed with the number of claims it has to handle that veterans usually have to wait months – if not years – before their turn comes.
The only option left for veterans in this situation is to contact a good lawyer who can help them fight for their rights and get social security disability benefits.
There are steps being taken to help veterans cope with life outside the forces, however, more needs to be done to help them transition back into civilian life. After the service they have given to their nation, the least that needs to be done is that the nation takes care of them.