Memorial Day and the men and women who came home
Memorial Day is when we honor the servicemen and servicewomen who died in the military.
In the current wars, the ones that have been going on for most of the 21st century, there have been far more men and women returning injured than not returning at all.
The returnees carry their own physical and psychological wounds, as well as the memory of their fallen comrades.
DEMOGRAPHICS OF HOMELESS VETERANS
Homelessness is a problem for our returning soldiers.
- 11% of the homeless adult population are veterans
- 20% of the male homeless population are veterans
- 68% reside in principal cities
- 32% reside in suburban/rural areas
- 51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
- 50% have serious mental illness
- 70% have substance abuse problems
- 57% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
- 50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans
What They Face
As with re-entry after every war, our veterans come home to the current economic conditions. These — as civilians know — are no picnic.
Americans are working harder for the same pay. Housing costs have inflated rapidly over the past 15 years since the Afghani war began. The high rates of injury put many veterans at even greater risk of falling into poverty.
Injured or not, many veterans are in need of basic help. There are organizations that help our veterans throughout Massachusetts.
I don’t have any answers, but today I remember those who fought and didn’t come back as well as have compassion for those who fought, came back, and are struggling.
Here is a link for services from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and my plug for a good service organization.
Take some time during this three-day weekend to remember those who serve in our military. It’s Memorial Day for those who did not return.
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