We have a volunteer military, and the men and women who opt to serve deserve our thanks, but so much more. Whether they choose the military as a career or put their job on pause while they spend a few years in service, we are all indebted to these special people who put their love of country above their personal goals. How, in this great country, can a person who served in the armed forces find themselves without adequate medical attention or a roof over their head? It is unconscionable and a scar on the soul of America.
There are over 630,000 homeless people in America. Sixty-seven thousand four hundred ninety-five are veterans. It amazes me that in today’s society, over 1 in 10 homeless people in America are veterans. They deserve better, and we should ensure every veteran is living in adequate housing before a dime is spent giving illegal immigrants a cell phone or free education.
The other serious condition facing our veterans is suicide. In 2020, there were 6,146 Veteran suicides, which averages to 16.8 Veterans dying by suicide every day. Additionally, in the two decades between 2001 and 2020, the prevalence of mental health or substance use disorder (SUD) among participants using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) rose from 27.9% to 41.9%. We need to do better with our VA Hospitals and counseling services for all veterans. We cannot have them defend us and our lives anywhere in the world, only to be forgotten and fall through the cracks when they leave the service. They deserve far better.
Finally, a huge thank-you to the Greatest Generation. Every day, memories of World War II—its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs—disappear. About 70 million people fought in World War II between 1939 and 1945. There were 16 million Americans who fought in the European or South Pacific theaters. Yielding to the inalterable process of aging, the men and women who fought and won the great conflict are now in their 90s or older. They are dying quickly—according to US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, 167,284 Americans who served in World War II were alive in 2022. We are losing 180 of these incredible men and women each day. At this rate, we will have none of these heroes with us by 2035. This is sad, but we still have time to thank them and honor their heroic efforts.
Regardless of the circumstances, our veterans deserve better. Whether it is active duty pay, housing, counseling, or medical treatment, our veterans deserve whatever they need. They sacrificed for us. It is our turn to do right by them.
Content syndicated from ConservatriveViewFromNH.com with permission
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