Yesterday, Sunday November 11th, was Veterans Day. A few days earlier a story ran in the New York Times that shows that we need to do more for our veterans than have a day that honors them. “Surge Seen in Number of Homeless Veterans” highlighted not only how veterans of past make up a disproportionate amount of homeless people but veterans from the current war are becoming homeless faster than years past.
For men, much of the homelessness is due to spiraling-out-of-control behavior through substance abuse. Women are facing many of the same problems that male vets are yet there is another factor that affects women at a higher rate than men; sexual abuse in the military. The New York Times states that nearly 40% of the homeless female veterans report sexual assault at the hands of other service members.
No matter what your political affiliation or stance on the war is there are I know that you will agree that this must be addressed.
Here are some things that we can all do to bring attention to this issue.
-Volunteering your time or make donations to homeless shelters, sexual assault/domestic violence shelters and veterans organizations that are targeting these problems is a great place to start.
-Becoming familiar with the issues that service members face is another.
-Building a peaceful world where people are not sexually abused and do not need to turn to substances to numb them is a long term goal that we all can put some work into achieving.
There are veterans who need our help everyday, not just on November 11th.
And, as PeaceKeepers, we need to offer our help…!
Read the NYT article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/us/08vets.html
Former SGT, US ARNG 2000-2005