Homeless Military Veterans Essay

796 words - 3 pages

Homelessness is the state or condition of having no home (especially the state of living in the streets) (Farlex, 2006). Homelessness is a problem; it is an even greater problem with our countries military veterans. After the Vietnam War, tens of thousands of veterans came home to a hostile culture that offered little gratitude and inadequate services, particularly to deal with the stresses of war. As a result, tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans still struggle with homelessness and drug and alcohol addictions. Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are coming home to a very different America. While the Iraq war remains controversial, there is almost unanimous support for the soldiers overseas. (Alexandra Marks, 2005) In the years since Vietnam, over 250 nonprofit veterans' service organizations have been developed to ensure that what happened to the Vietnam veterans did not happen again. Unfortunately it has happened again and is happening right now. There are a large number of homeless veterans from the Gulf war as well as an increasing number of homeless veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.As a veteran who has made many of the same sacrifices seeing fellow veterans struggle to get his or her lives in order affects me personally. Through personal conversations local homeless veterans have expressed how difficult it is to cope with living as a civilian. For many the inability to cope stems from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a war veteran who has been diagnosed with having post traumatic stress syndrome it angers me to know that veterans before me, such as the Vietnam veterans were not made aware of the services available to them upon the end of tour in the war. The majority of the veterans that have suffered the most are the veterans from the Vietnam era. Many of those veterans have lost limbs and receive monetary benefits. The issue comes into play with the nightmares and flashbacks of the firsthand experiences in the war zone. So many homeless veterans turned to drinking or drugs as a means to quiet the constant reminders that continually plays over and over in his or her mind.As a case manager I would bring first hand experience of what it means to be a military service member and I can also be empathetic to the struggle of transitioning from life in the military to life as a civilian and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Case management could be...

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