How a Veteran Can Get the Help They Need
Veterans Day is a day to thank and honor both dead and alive United States Veterans, unlike Memorial Day where Americans honor only those soldiers who died as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day and was considered a legal holiday on November 11, 1918. It was a day to honor the end of World War I and in 1938 legislation was passed dedicating the date 11-11 as the cause of world peace. In 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming that 11-11 would no longer be called Armistice Day. From that day forward, it would be known as Veterans Day.
Fifty-seven years later, on 11-11-11 Americans will gather across the country to honor Veterans of Wars. At exactly 11:00 am, a color guard from each branch of the military will honor the war dead with a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) in Arlington National Cemetery.
Factors that Complicate What Veterans Experience
You may have received hostile fire, blasts, personal injury, us veterans feared your own personal safety, witnessed combat casualties, and lived day-to-day in severe conditions, or experienced military sexual harassment and trauma. You may be currently facing losses such as homelessness and unemployment.
Military factors that may complicate your experience include training accidents and combat injuries resulting in death, lengthy process of recovering and transporting your friend’s body home before burial, limitation in viewing the remains due to the injuries, the young age of the soldier as nearly one-third of U.S. troops killed in Iraq were between the ages of 18 and 21. Now that you have returned home, you may have to deal with unwanted media attention, civilian reactions to military death and vindictive political protesters at the funeral.
As a Veteran, you are faced with several issues including a long wait for doctor’s appointments, driving several hours to see a mental health specialist, your spouse wanting to separate or divorce, loss of employment or lack of adequate employment, and negative stereotypes of military/veterans in the movies. Many Veterans feel out of control when eating. They have haunting images due to military trauma and need alcohol and/or drugs to get through their day. You may feel worried, anxious, irritable, frustrated and preoccupied with rage.
Some Veterans take prescription medication without medical supervision and think about killing themselves. Too many Veterans experience hopeless, rage, and withdraw from friends, family, and their community and have no sense of purpose in life. The VA’s suicide hotline receives approximately 10,000 calls per month. There are 950 suicide attempts per month by veterans receiving care from the VA and eighteen Veterans die by suicide each day. Five of them are under the care of the VA.