The Pain Of Veteran’s Day
By Anna Hessel
Is It Enough?
We often see flags waving on porches across our country and special social media posts of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or one of the National Cemeteries, with prayers or poems on Veterans and Memorial Day in honor of those who have served our nation. There are many restaurants that offer free meals, movie theaters offering complimentary admissions, and other giveaways to vets on November 11th, and a national hair care chain offers free haircuts as a thank you for veterans; often our former and current servicemen and women are asked to stand for a round of applause at sporting and concert events, but are these accolades enough?
The Tragedy of PTSD
How are we really taking care of those service women and men who suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)? Many of our veterans return home to find they have no home. More than 40,000 of those who have served our country are homeless. And PTSD is a major factor in causing homelessness. It is estimated that as many as 33% of veterans, suffer from this debilitating illness. Mental illness is a significant factor in homelessness among veterans.
There are 3 main symptoms of this disorder. First, “arousal”: anger, difficulties with sleeping, or concentrating. Second, “reliving”: nightmares and flashbacks which can impede daily activities, and can lead to loss of employment income. Third, “avoidance”: a feeling of utter detachment from life and those around them, often leading to depression so severe it is not possible for the sufferer to function well enough to keep, a job or take care of a home.