Essay about Homeless Veterans

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According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), nearly 200,000 American Veterans are homeless on any given night (Rieckhoff). NCHV - the resource and technical assistance center - reported that the number of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) - (OEF) veterans are becoming homeless much more quickly than Vietnam veterans. As the war in Iraq and Afghanistan continues the number of homeless veterans increases. The next generation of American Veterans is on its way home, and tens of thousands more will return from combat over the years to come. Upon returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan thousands of veterans are facing a new nightmare, the risk of homelessness.
Veterans of the Iraq
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As a consequence of the stresses of war and inadequate job training, when they get out of the service many have fallen behind their contemporaries. If they are fortunate enough to become employed, many of them are unable to hold a job due to untreated PTSD and acquired addictions without services and counseling designed for them. These factors may place our returning veterans at a higher risk of suicide. In 2007, the US Army reported that there were 115 suicides among OIF/OEF veterans. This was the highest number of suicides reported since the Army started keeping track about 30 years ago. In general, the risk for suicide among these veterans was not higher than that found in the U.S. population (Tull). However, there are several programs and 24 hour suicide hotlines available for those that may contemplate committing suicide as an option.
The majority of homeless veterans have service connected disabilities that are a direct result of military service; this contributes to a high risk of homelessness among veterans. Unique military skills that are non-essential in the civilian sector, combat related health issues, fractured family relationships and the lack of affordable housing are other factors. Many of them lack a social support network and/or someone to assist them with getting assistance from the government. They may be unaware of the different services they require and are

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