What is the best way of honoring our Veterans? How about keeping our word to them! Why are so many Veterans homeless? Why is there so much untreated PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)? Why is the suicide rate so high among Veterans?
According to NPR 22 Veterans commit suicide every day.
Veterans are at risk of committing suicide at a rate that is 41% higher than the general population in the US. (Veterans Affairs). This includes active duty service members.
We, as a nation, are more comfortable thanking Vets for their service rather than actually advocating better health/mental health care for them. So, what can we actually do to honor our Vets?
If you see a Vet on the street, homeless, offer assistance. Often homeless Vets have an American flag (a pin or patch) on their person. Or, and here’s a novel idea, take the time to talk to our homeless population, rather than averting our eyes and walking quickly away. Most often a Vet will inform us of their service. Veterans are proud of their service to our country.
Also, though homeless, they may have a dog or cat with them. This gives the term ‘service animal’ even greater meaning.
How can we be of service to them? Perhaps money, food, clothes, toiletries, pet food, etc. Ask. And honor their request.
And make an effort to speak with your representatives. Service members and Veterans have served us. Now it is our turn to be of service to them!
BE AN ADVOCATE.