They live in constant fear of capture, injury, or death. They may, in fact, sustain a serious injury, like the loss of a leg– pretty devastating to some 19 year old who loves sports and dancing. And they may see one of their buddies blown to bits right in front of them. They may also have to kill someone— possibly a woman or a kid the age of their younger brother, who just happens to be about to fire a gun or lob a grenade at them.
As a result, Veterans Day 2021 some of the warriors begin to drink or use drugs, sometimes while still overseas, and sometimes when they come home. Alcohol and drugs may temporarily keep the nightmares and panic attacks away, but they don’t cure anything, and often lead to addiction, which creates its own.problems, like inability to keep a job, inability to continue a marriage or relationship, arrests for driving under the influence, inability to pay rent that leads to eviction, etc
. When a warrior returns home, he/she may find that civilians don’t understand what he/she went through overseas, and may even oppose the cause that led him/her to put his/her life on the line. Family members may find it hard to cope with the person’s demons— their angry outbursts, their drunken or drugged behaviors, their depression and feelings of guilt about not having been able to save a friend, or about killing someone. They may not want an angry, depressed, addicted person living in their home because of the impact his/her behavior has on the young children living there.
People will tell these warriors to get help, but in the military, all too often, they got the message that feeling anxious or depressed, or getting any kind of mental health or substance abuse help, is a sign of weakness. So most of them simply don’t get help as their lives begin to spin out of control.
And, unfortunately, sometimes the servicepeople who do seek help find that the same attitudes prevail in the Veterans Administration Hospitals and clinics. Being told to “put on their big boy,/ big girl pants” and deal with life isn’t very helpful. Veterans Day 2021 While it is true that the Veterans Administration is trying to change its culture, change doesn’t happen overnight.
The VA hospitals and clinics have had other problems, as well. As an example, veterans often have had to wait.a very long time for an appointment, and they may not have insurance that pays enough of the costs of care for them to go to a civilian hospital. Again, the military and the VA are working to address the problems, but change may not come fast enough for some veterans.