Soldiers adopt a new culture the moment they get out of the country for war. It is believed that soldiers develop a new set of beliefs and values while they are away and therefore completely depart from their original cultural orientation (Rubin, 2012).
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War veterans completely feel out of place when they return from combat with most of them remaining in a state of despair. The majority of these veterans roam on the streets because they do not have somewhere to stay.
This kind of situation makes them feel as if they are no longer true citizens of their own country (Rubin, 2012). The culture of veterans is normally associated with soldiers returning from combat and a lot of effort is needed to accommodate this group of people back to the society.
Homeless veterans have their own gathering places, language, symbols and are completely united because of their similar experiences (Lauter, 2010). This paper will discuss the cultural immersion of homeless veterans.
The most surprising statistic is that veterans form one third of all the homeless people on the streets (Lauter, 2010). These are patriotic citizens who put on service uniforms to serve and defend their nation. Homeless veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome that subsequently leads to depression.
Substance abuse is part of the culture of veterans and this poses a great challenge to the health care system (Lauter, 2010). All veterans appreciate the value of basic necessities because of the difficult conditions that are associated with war.
Veterans do not take things for granted especially when it comes to basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing (Rothman, 2007). Veterans value their country and therefore the Department of Veterans Affairs should make an effort to ensure that the lives of all veterans are improved.
Homeless veterans feel as if their country has abandoned them and this is normally exhibited in their sense of hopelessness and low self-esteem (Rothman, 2007). The fact that veterans are left out in the cold makes them to communicate with a lot of hatred and anger.
Homeless veterans struggle in settling down socially because it is not easy for them to form close relationships back at home after staying away for a very long time (Rothman, 2007). Homeless veterans associate with fellow servicemen and this makes them feel isolated.
Physical and emotional isolation frustrates homeless veterans and this can lead to mental disabilities. Many veterans can not remain in any job for long because of substance abuse. It is very difficult for homeless veterans to completely have stable lives without employment (Miller, 2010).
Most companies require their prospective employees to have a permanent address and this completely locks out homeless veterans.
Cultural immersion is necessary for homeless veterans because it a way of helping them feel comfortable in their country (Miller, 2010). Cultural immersion takes place in different forms to ensure that homeless veterans do not have feelings of cultural, emotional and physical isolation.
Homeless veterans encounter numerous health risks because of their poor hygiene and diet (Miller, 2010). Health care providers have a very critical role to play in enhancing cultural immersion of homeless veterans. Many homeless veterans are very reluctant to inform the authorities that they are homeless and sick.
Health care providers should not in any way be judgmental when attending to homeless veterans (Rothman, 2007). Homeless veterans have been a subject of ridicule and therefore professionals like health care providers should show some compassion by listening to their side of the story.
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Homeless veterans would feel appreciated if everyone interacted with them without a non-judgmental attitude (Rothman, 2007). Homeless veterans can only share their story and information about their lifestyle if members of the society are willing to listen to them.
Social support is very important for homeless veterans because most of them are exposed to unclean behaviors such as substance abuse (Lauter, 2010). Health care providers should be aware of the plight of homeless veterans because they need some special attention.
Stereotyping is another reason why homeless veterans feel isolated and therefore the issue of having general assumptions that all of them are lazy and responsible for their problems should be avoided at all costs (Lauter, 2010).
There are quite a number of programs that have been put in place by the government with an aim of assisting homeless veterans. These programs assist homeless veterans to access health care and readjustment counseling services.
A housing program to support homeless veterans in securing transitional and permanent housing is very critical in enhancing their cultural immersion (Rothman, 2007).
Many of the health risks associated with veterans are caused by lack of shelter. It is also important for the society to understand that some veterans are homeless because of the common reasons that everyone faces (Rubin, 2012).
In conclusion, homeless veterans encounter a lot of cultural, emotional and physical isolation the moment they come back from war. The support that they used to enjoy in the course of their duty immediately disappears the moment they return home (Rubin, 2012).
Cultural immersion is therefore necessary for homeless veterans because they develop different values and believes while away and continue to identify themselves with the culture of veterans after they return home (Lauter, 2010).
Homeless veterans need both social and emotional support from the society for them to overcome their social, economic and cultural challenges.
Lauter, P. (2010). A companion to American literature and culture. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Miller, C. (2010). Cities and nature in the American West. New York, NY: University of Nevada Press.
Rothman, J. (2007). Cultural competence in process and practice: Building bridges. New York, NY: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Rubin, A. (2012). Handbook of military social work. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.