21 Oct Are We Failing Our Veterans Back Home?
by Michael Bluemling Jr.
Was there ever a moment in time where we stopped to truly appreciate the value and efforts of an American Soldier? If so, in those moments do we acknowledge the blood, sweat, tears, and loss of life that have been shed for the safety and sovereignty of our great nation? Was there ever a time a veteran was accepted back into our country with open arms and opportunities galore, based on their honorable military service?
What most veterans have seen over the years is that they come home to a country ashamed of what they have done and are subjected to the fear that society has of what a soldier is capable of, due to what they have experienced in combat or training, while they were home safe in their living room watching the various wars over the years unfold on television. A veteran is no different than any Ivy League kid who has had millions of opportunities to serve equally and choose to do otherwise. So what gives?
Generations of Americans have rang the bell for centuries and our heritage is rich with people from all walks of life who have laid down their lives for the hope of a better tomorrow. However, these traditions and values are lost once a soldier returns home. They come home to a job market that is brutal and not receptive to veterans in spite of numerous initiatives across the board in the government and private sector.
Sure, Congress and company’s can stand up and say “We are pro military in our Country 100%”, but are they really? What is the reality of a transitioning veteran? Is there truly hope for them?
Many non-profits exist around the nation that are supposed to be helping veterans succeed. How is that coming? Are people really changing the veteran’s life for them and their families or are they just lining their wallets with big fat green dollars. Are these organizations really helping the veterans and their families meet their immediate needs such as food, water, safety, and shelter or is it all a mirage? Are the leaders in key positions doing the right things or are they focusing on their individual goals for themselves?
If you look at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, is there enough Doctors to treat all of our returning veterans or are they being pushed to the side as another number in the system. We have a problem and that problem is that people who are in key positions are not really helping veterans receive the due process that they deserve. What are we going to do about that? Every man and woman should be held accountable to ensure that they are doing their jobs to help every veteran that they encounter, period.
Veterans are faced with mountains of paperwork and unknown information floating around as everyone is saying, “We know we have a problem and we are working on fixing it”. Veterans need the benefits that they are due immediately upon becoming disabled. Who has 2-8 years to wait for a claims process when everything is documented in the soldier’s medical records? Are they (Veterans Administration) really working on fixing this problem?
All of these factors lead to the demise of hope for our veterans who love America and are at a loss of words for what has happened to them. A veteran should NEVER be forced into thinking that no one cares and take his or her own life as a result. We should be ashamed of ourselves that we are not doing a better job ,as a society, for our men and woman in uniform. It is not about words, it is about actions. Like it or not we can and must do better starting today, because the truth hurts and reality sucks.