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Homeless Veterans in the United States Essay

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Updated: Mar 26th, 2022

A veteran is an individual who served in the Air Force or Navy, who has been set free under circumstances other than discreditable ones. Veteran may also be defined as someone possessing enough experience in some field (Culhane 9). This person usually has a direct disclosure to operations of military conflict.

Homelessness among veterans is an enormous setback that Americans are facing. There are a vast number of reasons as to why there is an alarming increase in the number of veterans (Eckholm 8). The veterans face a lot of problems including lack of basic needs like food and shelter; they are exposed to various types of diseases as well.

Homeless veterans and their families come across major challenges, drug addiction being one of them. This includes both those having problems with alcohol and those addicted to drug abuse (Culhane 1999).

According to a study done by Interagency Council on Homelessness, it was found out that forty nine percent of veterans had encountered problems with alcohol and thirty one percent had encountered problems related to drugs. As compared to homeless non-veterans’ alcohol and drug abuse was found to be more prevalent in homeless veterans.

Some of these veterans can not get jobs after leaving the forces. This is a major hindrance to stability among the veterans as they are not in a position to provide themselves with basic needs. The lack of jobs leads to idleness which is the major cause of the veterans’ addiction to drug abuse.

Others struggle psychologically with the war after their long term serving the nation. The psychological struggle they go through is chiefly due to the trauma they endure during their serving term. Lack of family support is also another challenge to the veterans (Culhane 21).

Veteran women undergo higher unemployment rate compared to males mainly due to the fact that women are less probable to attain employment that can generate them with enough money for their needs as well as for permanent housing. On getting back to the civilian life, women usually experience other challenges (Eckholm 8).

In case left untreated, these traumas will result into economic crises due to despair and emotional instability. Some of them include;

  1. Substance abuse
  2. Posttraumatic anxiety
  3. Traumatic brain injury.
  4. Military sexual trauma
  5. Psychological trauma

On returning home, veterans deserve a considerable help so as to get back to their normal lives because they risk their lives for the sake of serving their nation. This calls for a good plan by the government as well as the whole community to work hand in hand to help them get back on their feet. Homelessness is an indication of one of the problems faced by veterans among others, shelter being the basic need for a human life; it is then a clear point of how veterans live a miserable life despite their devotion to fully serving the nation (Eckholm 8).

According to National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, two thousand Americans become homeless regularly. The alarming increase in the number of the homeless veterans is due to continuing war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In order to help the veterans re-enter the workforce as industrious citizens, it calls for professional preparation as well as compassionate services for the homeless veterans. This will in due course help veterans prevent employment (Rosenheck 22).

Employment is one of the ways of eliminating homelessness among veterans as they can manage to acquire permanent houses. This encompasses making available tools needed by the veterans to enhance their marketable talents. It is also encouraged to create an atmosphere where veterans can make their social as well as their personal skills stronger. A favorable environment will also provide the veterans with a chance to examine their skills in the real working world (Culhane 11).

Provided with tools and gaining the required skills, the veterans will be in position to cater for their needs as well as their health. The drug addicted veterans can be helped via organizing alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs as well as job training.

It is advised that the government should guarantee that the veterans get full support upon discharge so as to ensure that they become stable and are in a position to get the basis to start their civilian life (Culhane 11). It goes without saying that with job opportunities the veterans will be in a position to afford accommodation as well as other essential needs. The veterans are also advised to give support to other veterans so as to help the homeless veterans uplift their status.

It is found out that if homeless veterans were provided with enough experience as well as training, it would help to mitigate challenges like drug addiction and also other problems like homelessness as this will assist them in stabilizing economically. It is also recommended that counseling sessions are organized with an aim of encouraging the psychologically affected individuals along with the traumatized.

This will help them move from the distressed lives and be useful for the society (Rosenheck 22). The association should also help these homeless veterans in acquiring jobs that will give outcomes that are worthy to cater for their needs especially in acquiring homes.

Staying in touch with the family members also ought to be looked into in order to assist the veterans to have stability in their lives (Eckholm 8). As the homeless veterans devoted themselves fully to serve the nation during their term in the armed forces it should also be a duty to each of the citizens to ensure that they also dedicate themselves to helping them in their civilian lives.

In conclusion, homelessness among veterans ought to be taken care by both the government and the citizens at large in order to reduce the number of the homeless in the society. Various reforms should also be set aside to deal with challenges the homeless veterans are facing (Rosenheck 23).

These organizations should advocate the need to help the veterans through various ways like training and encouraging the traumatized. The veterans should be provided with vocational training as well as with the essential tools needed for them to market their acquired skills. With this kind of support the veterans will be independent. This will consequently reduce the quantity of the homeless veterans. It therefore needs the input of the whole nation to eradicate homelessness amongst the veterans.

Works Cited

Culhane Duke P., and Metraux Stephen. Risk Factors for Homeless Veterans. New York City and Philadelphia, 1999. Print.

Eckholm Edward. “Surge seen in Number of Homeless Veterans”. New York Times. 8 Nov. 2007: A 1. Print.

Rosenheck Beatrice R., and Frisman Leon. The Proportion of Veterans among Homeless Men. U. S.: University of Massachusetts, 1994. Print.

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