One Woman’s Opinion/Veterans
by – Sheri de Grom
The American soldier offers his/her life that we may continue to live in freedom. I find the following numbers not only shocking but appalling. It’s no wonder that less than 1% of the United States eligible population is willing to serve in our armed services.
- Between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless at some time during the year.
- Approximately 33% of all homeless men in the U.S. are veterans.
- Veterans are twice as likely as other Americans to become chronically homeless.
- Veterans represent 11% of the adult civilian population, but 26% of the homeless population.
- Veterans are more at risk of becoming homeless than non-veterans.
- One in ten veterans is disabled.
- 45% of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- 37% of all veterans returned from deployment to Iraq with mental health disorders.
- The incidence of PTSD and suicide rates among veterans is increasing at an alarming rate.
- One veteran takes his/her life every sixty-five minutes of every day.
- The risks of women veterans becoming homeless are four times greater than male veterans.
- 7% of the nation’s homeless veteran population is comprised of women.
- 23-29% of female veterans seeking VA medical care reported experiences of sexual assault within their own chain of command.
All statistics were verified with the latest available data from: The Department of Veteran Affairs, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, National Alliance to End Homelessness and The National Center on Family Homelessness.
This woman’s opinion: all children of the President and his appointees, all children of members of Congress and lobbyist’ should be required to enlist in the military and serve a minimum of four years active duty. And, we should not forget, currently, eighty-percent of our congressional members have never served their country in any military capacity. Individuals we’ve elected to lead us have no idea what’s required to serve in the United States Military and to sacrifice so much for so little in return.
Would our government be so eager to enter into every conflict in the world if the lives of ‘their children and loved ones’ faced the possibility of coming home in a flagged draped coffin, confined to a wheel chair, withdrawn completely into him/herself so thoroughly that no amount of mental health services can seem to reach them and their lives end in suicide. And what about the service member who leaves for war enthusiastic to defend his/her country, and before graduating from boot camp, their spirit has been crushed and the only way out is to commit suicide?
Thank you for reading with me. I appreciate the viewpoint of each of you. The builders of bigger and better war machinery are in operation and one crisis after another is exploding around the world.