How Can We Help Our Veterans?

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I live in a community built to house veterans and their families, both my mother and my father served in the United States Army, and I have seen how the systems they attempted to use often failed them or simply just did not function as needed, this isn’t the case for all veterans but for more than a few it is a real issue that causes those who pledged to serve and protect undue pain. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for the care and aid services provided to the United States Veterans, for a long while their care and accessibility have been to say at the least suboptimal.

There is a disproportionate number of veterans that are without adequate health and financial aid, the individuals who have sworn to serve and protect our country are without a support structure once they leave the armed forces, the VA is the organization meant to fill that void, yet they are severely lacking due to poor outreach and funding, leaving many veterans without proper care. If there is to be any hope of helping our veterans regain their footing and making sure they get the proper care they require then the VA is going to need massive changes, such as better outreach, application process, as well as securing more funding, and working with the military to make better separation procedures, which will all help restore it into working order.

Veterans are very different than active service members, although people tend to think that a veteran is simply an ex-soldier who is injured or retired, but that just isn’t the case. An active service member is conditioned through the military to never show weakness or ask for help, because of this mentality, they will hardly ever seek special treatment for their perceived weakness and will continue to do their duty while injured or in severe pain. While this is admirable from certain perspectives, it is detrimental to themselves later when they become a veteran. Veterans, on the other hand, are encouraged to do the very things they were discouraged to do while they were active service members, which is show their perceived weakness and seek aid.

Ann Cheney a researcher whose focus is the barriers associated with VA care use said this, Veterans expressed concern over stigmatizing labels such as ?crazy’ and ?mental health patients’ as well as military attitudes (e.g., ?suck it up’) fostering feelings of weakness and failure. Such attitudes contributed to veterans’ anxiety and alcohol and drug use and impeded mental healthcare services use (5). If they are hurt, mentally or physically, society tells them to go to the VA and request assistance, this is completely against everything they were instructed on during their service as such they often don’t attempt it. This scenario also presents a glaring flaw in the system: injuries and conditions that are related to an individual’s time in service are treated for free at the VA, but if the veteran never reported their ailments during their time of service,

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