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Rural Veterans Face A Special And Alarming Set Of Social Justice Issues Essay

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Introduction
Rural veterans face a special and alarming set of social justice issues related to healthcare. Overall, there are 5.3 million veterans residing in rural communities (Office of Rural Health, 2016). A total of 44 percent of those who enlist to serve in the military hail from rural areas of the United States (Gale & Heady, 2013). Regardless of their bravery, upon returning to civilian life these honorable men and women are met with social justice issues and limitations when attempting to access proper healthcare. As the veterans who served in recent conflict in the Middle East continue to adjust life in the United States, it is imperative that healthcare professionals seek to stay proactive about addressing veteran social justice issues.
There are several barriers to rural veterans receiving quality of care. These include the rural and military stigma against mental health services, the insufficient timeliness of receiving care, the lack of skilled professionals in positions to serve veterans, and the tangible challenge of access to care. These barriers cause many veterans to not receive services at all. At best, it causes major hindrances for rural veterans resulting in sporadic treatment, low quality of care (Buzza, et al., 2011) and financial concerns (Gayle & Heady, 2011).
Veterans have a heightened need for medical and mental healthcare compared to the general population, and rural veterans have proven be in significantly more need of such care (Weeks, et
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