I’m often amazed and then annoyed at hearing politicians, usually looking for votes or donations, spout off about how they’re a great friend to the veteran! That’s not to say that some truly are and that they do good work, but over all we should be ashamed, in this country, for the abysmal treatment and care that is given to veterans! These are the people who have put their lives on hold for! So they could serve the country. The Word is sacrifice!! The VA, the 2nd largest cabinet level government agency whose primary function is to support veterans in their time after service by providing benefits and support is in most cases a very poorly run agency! No surprise there! A current initiative in the Department is to prevent and end veterans’ homelessness. Suicide is anther problem that plagues veterans after they return home from stressful deployments. In 2016, the age and gender-adjusted suicide rate for veterans was 26 per 100,000 1.5 times higher than the rate for non-veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A frequently quoted 2012 VA report found that 22 veterans committed suicide per day, but that figure included active-duty troops, Stars and Stripes reported in June. Stars and Stripes broke down more recent VA numbers, reporting there are 21 military suicides a day, including 17 by veterans and four by active- duty service members, Guardsmen and reservists. There are 22 veterans who agreed to be interviewed for Lionhearted, a new Veterans Day campaign that seeks to reduce the high veterans’ suicide rate with videos and a short film telling stories of combat and healing, as well as a related piece of art that will be unveiled Thursday at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. The art is the work of Air Force veteran and painter Shawn Ganther, who sketched each veteran onto a piece of body armor, then connected the pieces to create a 430-pound American flag. Again, this but one small bit of action being taken and we hope again that more, including those in a place to actually do some good, will sit up and Do Something!! Click here to read more about Lionhearted.
Here are several local veterans websites if you would like to help: