The war at home; vets face many hurdles off the front-line as well

Photo provided by staff
Monday, November 11, 2013 - 6:40pm

For many of our nation's veterans the war they fight doesn't always stop when they come home.

"There's things folks need every single day. Biggest thing folks need right now is jobs," explained David LaCerte, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

But getting back in to civilian life does not always carry such a tangible burden. In recent years Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become a condition more soldiers are familiar with, but it is something veterans have been dealing with a very long time.

"It's been an issue with combat vets for time out of memory. In world war I it was known as 'shell shock', in World War II it was combat fatigue, with Vietnam it started being known as post traumatic stress," explained Stephen Henry. Henry is a Vietnam vet who also works with Veterans.

Henry shared that many of his fellow Vietnam veterans are only now dealing with the effects of a war they fought forty years ago.

"It’s very prevalent in veterans when they retire. They come home, they've done a tour of duty, they've been in combat, they get home, get married, they go to work, they raise their family, then they retire and all of those memories come flooding back. I see a lot of guys like that," he shared.

But it doesn't always take a fellow soldier to help our veterans out, citizens can also do their part in small and large ways.

"Definitely encourage your local legislation, encourage your local congressional delegation, your federal delegation, to definitely extend tax credit programs where possible. Hire veterans were you can and see your local veteran's service officer," said LaCerte.

"Just tell them 'thank you.' and if you see that they need something, offer. Most times they're not going to ask," added Henry.
 

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