The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that about 12% of the adult homeless population are veterans the majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders.
While unemployment rates for veterans has steadily declined over the past few years, to rates lower than the general population, data shows that post-9/11 veterans have struggled find work more than the general workforce and more than troops who served in previous eras of conflict. About 9 percent of former service members from Iraq and Afghanistan were unemployed in 2013, compared to about 6.6 percent of veterans overall and 7.2 percent of non-veterans.
Almost 700,000 veterans currently have some degree of officially recognized disability as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A July 2010 report found that child abuse in Army families was been three times higher in homes from which a parent was deployed, for example. From 2001 through 2011, alcohol use associated with physical domestic violence in Army families increased by 54%, and with child abuse by 40%. This trend may be associated with research linking increased alcohol consumption with partner aggression among veterans suffering from combat-related wounds, injuries and illnesses.
So this year don’t just wave the flag and talk the talk. This year on this Memorial Day make a commitment to:
If you own a business or know someone who owns a business help a veteran find a job;
If you’re a landlord, realtor or know someone who is help a homeless veteran find a home;
Become a big brother, big sister, or mentor to someone who lost their Father, Mother, Brother or Sister as a result of their service to this country;
Volunteer at the local VA hospital:
Do whatever it is you can do no matter how small you may think it is to make the lives of those who served this country and their families a little easier.
Remember for those who serve and their families the battle doesn’t end when they come home sadly it’s just beginning let’s help make it easier for them.