By current estimates, 22 veterans every day are choosing to end their own lives. I can't help but wonder about my own experiences and how fortunate I've been thus far hanging on to this roller coaster called post-military life.
Simply put, we have the knowledge, the medical talent and technology to really help our veterans. I am proposing that we create our own version of a PAC and call it a MAC (Mindfulness Action Committee) that puts money to good use and leads to health and prosperity for our veterans.
Image by Stop Soldier Suicide The suicide rate of service members and troops is more than alarming, and in many cases, the suicide is not a result of...
Looking into the young faces of Vietnam 2015, hearing their questions about the time when I lived in their country, before they were born, before their parents were born, I kept seeing faces from long ago, all but one of them dead now.
I found myself replaying that moment in my mind: a silent flight line shadowed by distant mountains. The rugged peaks stood like sentries along the horizon, making everything seem tiny and insignificant set against them.
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Today, the United States is home to more than 21 million veterans. Their service should never be forgotten, least of all when they're in need of care. While the progress achieved by the VA's revised rule and legislation like the Clay Hunt SAV Act takes an important step forward reforming access to care for our veterans, our work is far from over.
Although the employment situation for veterans has improved since I left the military, the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells me we still have work to do. Every man and woman who has honorably worn the uniform of this country has the ability to make our nation stronger. I know because they already have.
It's time that we do a better job recognizing that our veterans return to their neighborhoods, families and friends. We cannot isolate any of their challenges with the mistaken thinking that government solutions are readily available.
As a military spouse, I am not ashamed to admit my fears. Unlike past generations of military families, the threat is no longer contained to where the war is physically taking place.
What if local governments asked their tech talent to give a day or two or a couple of weeks a year to work with local agencies and departments to improve the communities where they live and work?
When we see people as heroes, we don't leave enough space for them to struggle as all people do at times in their lives. When we see people as head-cases, we don't leave enough space for them to demonstrate their strengths, courage, and creativity.
To all vets, military families and active duty service members, let me tell you with great certainty that the majority of U.S. citizens do not know us.
She runs the Women Veterans Program at Swords to Plowshare, and is the main mentor for all the women in the program. She also provides community education, and is an absolutely tireless advocate for women vets.
The present thank-yous reflect a new reality: Americans now feel as if the military isn't theirs, has nothing to do with them, and is no part of their lives. It's someone else's dinner party (or nightmare, if you prefer).
Skeptical that this schism exists? Think again. A 2014 Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 55 percent had served in the military felt disconnected from civilian life. That number increased to 64 percent for those who had served in combat.