We the American people are failing the men and women of the United States military. Statistics show that every day 22 veterans end their lives in suicide. One need not look much further than our government’s own economic data to guess the reasons why.
The Bureau of Labor statistics reported that veteran unemployment was 44% higher than the rest of the population; leaving 1 in 5 veterans out of work. Easing less than 2% in the time since that 2013 survey, millions of Americans who risked their lives for us are unemployed and unable to provide for their families. Every year, over 1 million veteran families are forced onto food stamps just to survive.
Joblessness and handouts wear a man down. VA benefits are sometimes available, but long lines and a ridiculous web of tangled bureaucracy often prevent help from getting to those who need it most, leaving far too many honorable veterans to fall through the cracks. Meanwhile, television and movies foster the false perception of veterans as unstable, PTSD ridden time bombs just waiting to crack; leaving many in the private industry hesitant to hire these once proud men and women. Society as a whole seems to foster the meme ‘hero to zero’.
But, I can tell you from personal experience, our veteran servicemen and women are smarter, braver and more capable than any I’ve ever known. No matter the task they get the job done; because in life as in war, failure is not an option.
It’s time We the American people step up and serve those who served us so well. As with most everything, we cannot rely upon the bureaucratic government system to fix the problem, we must take the bull by the horns and address it ourselves. Charitable institutions and private industry must now stand together as one, delivering our heroes the respect they deserve by giving them a hand up. They put their lives on the line for freedom, now it’s time for us to help them find their own freedom. No more zeros, just heroes.