Returning home from combat can be a difficult transition for many veterans. To go from the structure and intensity of the military back into everyday life can be jarring. However, there are resources available to help ease that transition. Here is a look at some common challenges faced by members of our military and where they can find information that might help.
Finding gainful employment is a challenge many veterans face. Many enter the military when they are young and don’t always come home with a skill set that is easy to market in today’s economy. If you worked for the military in an administrative capacity, it may be a bit easier. But for those who were primarily in combat, it can be a struggle. In 2020, it was estimated that there were over 552,000 unemployed veterans in America. For those coming home from the military who need help with employment opportunities, the VA has plenty of resources available.
Getting Access to Housing
Homelessness is another persistent problem for returning veterans. This goes hand in hand with unemployment and many veterans who struggle to find work also struggle to find adequate housing. In January 2020 it was estimated that approximately 37,252 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Drug addiction and mental illness are two other serious problems veterans experience after coming home from the war, which can make it difficult to hold down a consistent job and live a stable lifestyle. The VA does offer low-interest loans to veterans looking to buy a home that doesn’t have as stringent requirements as conventional mortgages. However, you still must have gainful employment and some credit history, which can be a struggle for many. But there are other resources available to assist veterans struggling with mental illness or homelessness, as well.
Many veterans suffer adverse medical side effects when returning home from combat. This can range from physical ailments such as nerve damage or traumatic brain injuries to mental illnesses like depression and PTSD. Veterans returning home from war should keep a close eye on their health to avoid any long-term consequences of combat as much as humanly possible. Another major health risk that impacts many veterans is exposure to dangerous chemicals. Those who have been in combat may have been exposed to toxic substances such as Agent Orange or asbestos. Asbestos exposure is common amongst many veterans who were involved in active combat and can cause serious lung damage and a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Veterans Network has resources and prognosis information available for any veterans suffering from this disease.