Suicide and Homelessness Are NOT Acceptable
20 Per Day
This is NOT ok.
The latest numbers from the VA who studied suicide rates from 1947 to 2016 show that men have a 22% higher suicide rate than civilian males and females...get this...250% higher rate than their civilian counterparts!
The last estimates by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (2016) put the veteran homeless count in the United States at over 39,000.
There are many theories as to why this happens, but one of the biggest rationale is that there is no transition assistance by the Federal Government that allows a veteran to go from active service --where housing and a steady income are guaranteed -- to civilian life where many times there is no family, housing or income waiting.
What Can We Do?
Programs provided by the VA just aren't enough.
Community support programs are needed to allow a place for veterans to be heard. While we know civilians want to help, I haven't met any veterans, including myself, who has met a civilian that can possibly understand what it means to have fought for your country. To travel into uncleared territory knowing an enemy is dug in and watching your every move; no offense, but it's just not something the majority of civilians can empathize with.
Veterans Need to Be Heard...
...and listened to. By someone who knows what they're feeling. Do you think it's hilarious when someone pops a balloon and they hit the floor crying? You're not someone who can empathize. But if you understand that this is a lingering effect of severe trauma and PTSD, then maybe you can help.
Create a group in your local area that just exists as a place for veterans to hang out. No agenda. No politics. Just a place with complete understanding. Even if you don't quite understand, you can definitely sympathize with what is going on.
Visit today and create a group for veterans, by veterans.