VETERANS DAY: Time to Recognize and Honor Efforts of Our VeteransSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 
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VETERANS DAY: Time to Recognize and Honor Efforts of Our Veterans
 


25 October 2009 at 12:20:54 PM
pstern

It's also time to meet their needs
 
by Peter Stern
Veterans Day is approaching.  The population of our veterans is increasing steadily.  While we show our respect and hold them in esteem, do we recognize their needs after returning home?
 
Often one of the unspoken truths is that Veterans are hit hard by suicide.
 
The media tells us little regarding suicide unless it occurs to a famous Hollywood personality.  It doesn't seem to mean much to us until it happens within our own family.

The truth is that suicides occur all too frequently within our society. There has been an increase of teenage suicides and among our elderly population, but the most dramatic increase in suicide has occurred with our returning veteran population — but we don’t hear about it on the news.

The media was all too quick to jump on the last year's possible suicide of actor David Carradine when he was found hung in a Thailand hotel. Too quick because authorities now believe it looks like the actor may have been murdered. Unfortunately, no one is notified that many of our veterans are having problems reentering our society after serving our nation.  Many can not cope with reentry.  Many do not fit in.  We should provide better support.

Why aren’t the media writing about the increasing high rate of suicide by our returning veterans? The suicide rate is the highest among the Veteran population than ever before. It’s time we recognize the problem and do something about it.

The increase of suicide by our veteran population is not just a problem for the federal government, it is a local problem as well and state lawmakers should be doing everything possible to provide needed services, including counseling, to help our returning veterans in readjusting to civilian life. As a Disabled Veteran myself, I can tell you that it is not an easy task to acclimate back into our society after being in a war zone for long periods far away from civilization and loved ones. It is a heck of a return journey.

Reentry is especially difficult during these hard economic times, where Veterans especially have a tough time finding employment. Outsourcing, layoffs and cheaper immigrant labor have taken a toll on available, well-paying jobs for Americans. It is no secret that Americans need work and it should not take this long to generate jobs for those who need and want them.

Perhaps the dismal job market is hardest for our returning Veterans because in addition to readjusting to civilian life, there are fewer jobs available for them.  While many return to schools under the GI Bill, many find it difficult to sit still in classroom situations and there is no guarantee of finding work after completing the program.

Isn’t it time we provide our Veterans with the services they need, along with a viable means to follow-up on their reentry into American communities?  Suicide is a painful alternative and it hurts everyone in our community.
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Comments!  
1 - pstern   25 Oct 2009 @ 4:51:05 PM 
Notes on Veteran suicides....
 
 
 
People commit suicide for many different reasons. 
 
It is at best overly simplistic to say as some do, "As usual suicides are related to personal problems, usually involving someone of the opposite sex." and it discards the mountains of case studies on many veterans who feel they have no other choice.
 
In 2008 there was a report documented for Congress on Preventing Suicides Among Veterans: (It is a .pdf file)
 
 
Certainly, prevention is a key and some scientists believe that many Veterans may have a predisposition to suicide before they enter military service.
 
 
There are cases of men and women who return from war zones who can not forgive themselves for their own actions and those of others who served together.
 
Many have dreams they can not escape from.  Some can not find peace.
 
There are many reasons returning Veterans consider suicide.  It is not a simple issue and the public remains unaware of the problems, issues and possible solutions.
 
My main hope in writing about this is:
 
- To make the public more aware of the issue
 
- That there are many factors involved re: the reasons for depression which lead to suicidal determination
 
- To recognize the need for preventative services
 
- That the number of Veteran suicides is high in number and on the increase.
 

The suicide rates of returning Veterans is much higher than that of the general population.
 
 
 
Fortunately, studies are being considered and approved to review treating this urgent issue.
 
 
However, studying about Veteran depression and suicides needs to be a quick study.  We need to do something about it and start to trim the numbers.

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2 - humanbeing   26 Oct 2009 @ 12:05:11 AM 

I wish the politicians that send our brave young people to war could trade places with them for awhile and truly experience the reality . Maybe then, one day, there would be no more war. 


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3 - pstern   26 Oct 2009 @ 10:25:45 AM 

I always believed that the top leader of each fighting nation should step into a boxing ring for 5 rounds, winner take all.  I think many wars would be avoided that way also.


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4 - Meg Krause   30 Oct 2009 @ 9:49:16 AM 

You mention the employment stuggles of Veterans in relation to this very scary problem. I thought you might be interested in the US Dept. of Labor initiative, America’s Heroes At Work. I am an OIF Veteran who consults on this project, reaching to help employers ensure the success of Veterans winning the battle with PTSD and/or TBI. It features the Web site, http://www.AmericasHeroesAtWork.gov, where resources, training, and other tools are provided to help employers understand both injuries, how they can accommodate employees, and what best practices in the workplace can ensure high morale, effective use of Veteran’s unsurpassed skill sets, and retention in all levels of employment. 

I hope you can use this in your future blogging.

Very Sincerely,
Meg Krause


5 - humanbeing   1 Nov 2009 @ 12:06:50 AM 

 Thank you, Meg. We cannot do enough for our Veterans. Even when I question the politics, I always honor those who serve. They are the real heroes. 


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6 - pstern   2 Nov 2009 @ 7:47:36 AM 

Meg, thanks for the additional info on this issue and for all your efforts on behalf of Veterans.


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