Far too many veterans are homeless in America—between 130,000 and 200,000 on any given night.
One out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.
All Veterans at the risk of homelessness have access to resources and benefits through government organizations.
However, the kind of stress and emotional issues they face is unimaginable. Unemployment for young veterans is twenty % double the national average. That makes the transition back from war even more difficult.
Homeless Veterans face several physical and mental challenges such as;
- Brain injuries
- Repeated deployments, depression, and post-traumatic stress.
One of the veterans, John B. King Jr served federal government for 35 years. He became homeless after losing his house. “I want to sit down and cry… What else can I do” when asked to share his thoughts on what Veterans Day meant to him.
Veterans can be too proud to ask for help while they suffer from post- traumatic stress disorder .
A decorated veteran, Jose Pagan who served United States of America in Iraq and Afghanistan believes homelessness is embarrassing. “ Honor, pride, duty, loyalty, all these things that we have- that kick in as a soldier.”
It should be a national outrage even if there is a single homeless veteran.
So many of us come back broken. Come back, you know mentally broken, physically broken,” Fuller said.
Dailey added. “I had the war in my head. I couldn’t get it out of my head.”
“ Once you’re a veteran, you’re always a veteran. They can never take that away from you.” Nelson said. He believes that everybody should do some service for their country as it builds the character.,
“It’s very tough to take another man’s life or someone trying to take yours. I had nightmares all the time. I went to talk to a counselor about that. ” Montag said in his oral history recording.
Chambers confessed, “ I know a lot of bad stuff has happened, but I’m very proud of everything I did.”I wouldn’t change anything,”
“There’s a lot of, lot of break down and dysfunction within families, you know, after someone has served,” Black said. “I think serving in the military has a lot of psychological effects on you. It really challenges you in an emotional way to be able to then go back into civilian life”
Nick Holt, Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist identified certain personality traits of Homeless Veterans after working very closely with them.
- Above all, Veterans find it hard to trust another person and avoid intimate or connected relationships with others.
- They demonstrate bravery, resilience, and hopefulness in difficult situations.
- Veterans have faced enormous challenges, yet they are humorous, playful, and creative. They focus on the moment and never complain about life.
In all, 50% of vets with a history of homelessness suffer from severe mental illness, according to the U.S. Inter agency Council on Homelessness.
Nobody knows why re-joining back the mainstream life becomes a challenge for Veterans.