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Posts tagged ‘PTSD’

Vietnam Veterans Benefits, Part II

Veterans who served during the Vietnam era may be eligible for both service and non-service connected VA benefits. This includes veterans who were exposed to various service-related hazards during the war like Agent Orange, and vets who experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after the war ended. Read more

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Veterans Struggles Dramatized in Theatre

On Veteran’s Day, the Hollywood American Legion Post 43 in Los Angeles Liberty Theater presented the world premiere of Everything In Between, a play dealing with four generations of vets and their unique difficulties after coming home.

“Invisible injuries, often with devastating consequences, follow our soldiers back home. I have always had a story in my head about different generations of Veterans, from all branches of the military, coming together to help one another heal. It’s about the human condition we all share and the specific condition that veterans share, along with the hope that things are somehow going to get better,” explains Rebecca Stahl, playwright.

The American Legion was formed in 1919 to give all veterans a place to congregate together in fellowship as well as memorial. The Hollywood post raised funds with the help of A-listers Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Ida Lupino Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, and the Marx Brothers who attended their boxing matches along side blue-collar patrons. The building described as “military in character and a dignified solution to the problem of combining a memorial and a clubhouse,” by the Los Angeles Times was opened on July 4, 1929.

The play was produced by the community veterans’ organization, Hollywood Post 43 of the American Legion. The cast, crew, and design team include U.S. military veterans.

Everything In Between opened on November 11th (Veteran’s Day) and ran through December 11, 2016.

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Why American Veterans Should Get Better Care

There’s no denying the benefits our nation gains from the outstanding service provided by members of the military.  American Veterans are brave and heroic – and these soldiers put their lives on the line to defend the lives of their fellow citizens.  They protect the freedoms we often take for granted, and uphold the principles and laws that govern us and make our nation unique.

Most veterans are quick to downplay their contributions to society, but make no mistake, these humble individuals are far from ordinary.  They take on a job that most people would never dream of accepting and they should be compensated accordingly with American veteran’s aid, health services, and other benefits befitting their service and valor.

Military members volunteer for service, knowing that they are putting their lives on hold, accepting a potentially dangerous challenge, and even risking accident, injury, illness, or death in the process.  Their sacrifices allow the rest of the nation to go about life with security and peace of mind.

When veterans are discharged or retired from military service, they are promised certain benefits, including American veterans aid like VA healthcare services, along with provisions detailed in the G.I. Bill, just for example.  However, some veterans slip through the cracks or are unable to take advantage of the benefits they should rightly receive.

What is our obligation as a nation?  Do we have a moral, ethical, and/or legal responsibility to offer American veterans aid following their military service?  Although the course of action seems clear, there is still debate about how far the nation should go when it comes to caring for veterans.  Like most things in a capitalistic society, the debate often centers on funding.

These people deserve more than our thanks – they deserve ongoing care and consideration.  Here are a few important reasons why we, as a nation, should do more for our vets.

They are People and worth the Financial Commitment

Soldiers may be assets, but they deserve greater regard than a tank or a plane.  Consider the amount of military equipment that sits in storage for years or decades, unused but costing our nation money nonetheless.  How can we justify this expense while denying needed benefits to deserving veterans?

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), the Presidential administration declared that all of America’s citizens deserve access to affordable healthcare.  Why?  As people we should enjoy certain inalienable rights, including the ability to receive care when we’re ill or injured, whether we are in a position to pay for it or not.

The same basic attitude applies to members of the military.  Just because they have completed their service to our country doesn’t mean we can discard them.  Military service can result in disability and other issues that make it difficult for soldiers to re-acclimate to civilian life.  These people deserve the utmost regard for their service and our nation should reciprocate in tangible ways that benefit the lives of our veterans.

They Have Value

Veterans are not only highly trained individuals, but they also have proven qualities that speak to their value in society.  Service members are prized for their loyalty, honor, and selflessness.

These traits make them ideal employees and valuable members of society.  So why are so many veterans dealing with poverty, an inability to find work, and even homeless?

We can do more.  There are organizations designed to help veterans find jobs, recover from illness or injury, find housing, and get back on their feet.  As a nation, it is our duty to make sure these groups receive the funding needed (through private donations or federal contributions) to continue providing American veterans aid to those in need.

They Have Families

Just because military members serve their country of their own free will doesn’t mean they’re the only ones affected by the decision to do so.  Soldier have families, including parents, siblings, spouses, and children that are also impacted by their decision to serve.

How can spouses cope when they have to care for a wounded veteran in addition to working and raising children?  What if soldiers return from service with complications like depression or PTSD?

American veterans and their families may need help dealing with the after effects of military service, and as a nation, we should provide special consideration for the unique challenges these families face due to the sacrifices made by veterans in the course of their service.

 

 

 

 

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