January 20th, 2012
by Guest Author Kevin Pearia
Econintersect: Since the start of the Iraq war in 2001, veterans’ advocacy groups have increased dramatically to offer support to both soldiers and soldier’s families who are left behind during service. Several large groups, including the National Organization for Veteran's Advocates and the Veterans Support Organization, have gained prominence by offering substantial monetary support to veterans in need, while also lobbying adequately in Congress.
Several other smaller groups such as the Wounded Warrior Project and Soldiers’ Angels, which focus on helping soldiers in smaller, yet equally impactful, ways have joined the cause as well. Click on picture for larger image.
Recently, one group in particular that has taken a stand is the Veterans United Foundation. The Veterans United Foundation, the non-profit charity sponsored by Veterans United Home Loans and their 700 plus employees, serves almost like a United Way for groups that specifically choose to support troops and their families, such as Operation Home Front and Hire Heroes USA.
In addition to providing monetary support, Veterans United also offers a vast support network for military members in the form of blogs, with the primary goal of the organization to enhance the lives of those who have served our nation so selflessly.
Nearly all aforementioned organizations are designed to support veterans and focus on making the transition back to civilian life as easy as possible; however, returning soldiers coupled with our Nation's weak economy isn't making transitions easy for many veterans. Reports of both PTSD and joblessness are high, with Department of Defense studies showing one out of every 6 Iraq War veterans showing signs of PTSD, which means further advocacy is needed to help these issues get dealt with.
Another front that needs continued consideration is homelessness amongst veterans. While homelessness is decreasing, there are still nearly 70,000 homeless veterans on the streets – suggesting that more groups need to focus their efforts on providing support to these individuals.
And as always, families of soldiers, whether they be wounded or suffering from PTSD, are always in need of greater support as they are directly impacted both financially and psychologically by their soldier's service.
Veteran advocacy will always be an uphill battle, as more is continuously needed to be done. However, serving those who have served us and our country is not only deeply rewarding, but is the least we can do considering the substantial sacrifice these individuals and their families have made.
Not only are these people soldiers, but they are human beings who often return to civilian life without adequate support, and our duty, at the very least, is to make sure these heroes are able to transition soundly and enjoy a positive well-being after service with adequate resources in hand.
Sources: Links in the article. This news summary was prompted by GEI News: Unemployment Problems for Young Veterans.
About the Author
Kevin Pearia is a mortgage commentator for Veterans United Home Loans, the nation’s leading dedicated provider of VA home loans and military resources.