I’ve read over the past several years about Stand Down events for our homeless Veterans and more recently, 60 Minutes did a piece on the San Diego Stand Down weekend. I do hope you click through, watch and listen to it. Here is a link to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and the origins of “Stand Down”.
Also another interesting piece 60 Minutes did back in January of this year, “Why the VA Frustrates Veterans”
The statistics are staggering and while the US Government is gearing up for the return of our soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a legitimate fear that we (as a country) are not prepared for their return.
Many of our soldiers will return with some variation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse issues, chronic health conditions and/or maimed.
Couple the aforementioned issues with dim employment prospects & family dynamic issues and we’ve got ourselves a recipe for disaster, Commander.
On the upswing, the US Government has made the expansion of resources to returning Veterans and homeless Veterans a priority with a Strategic Plan to End Homelessness for Vets in five years. With that, there is a massive funding package coming down to support this effort. Interestingly, one of the priorities is the creation of units of housing geared to homeless female veterans with children. Naturally, once would assume, with 14% of our enlisted personnel, being women they would be coming home with the same trauma issues that are men experience.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs is in the process of a massive “culture” change whereby service to our Veterans is given where they are at, versus providing services exclusively within Veterans facilities. Obviously, this is the common sense approach…but then again, whoever said bureaucracy “always” make sense?