Saturday, April 23, 2016

We Can Do a Better Job of Supporting our Veterans

Without veterans we wouldn't have the freedoms we enjoy today. Our lives would be very much different without the blood, sweat, and tears of young people in uniform. The problem is how we treat them when they get back home and integrate into the civilian world. Things begin to break down where rhetoric must be replaced with real action. As a community we can step up our efforts to care for veterans.

I read an article in KPBS entitled San Diego Nonprofit Trains Veterans For Manufacturing Jobs that discusses the beneficial job the non-profit organization Workshops for Warriors is doing for helping veterans train for manufacturing jobs. They are funded primarily through private and business donations so you might want to give them a little something.

The business community can do more by donating to such organizations but also by hiring more veterans. It isn't enough to say you are hiring veterans without giving them real consideration in hiring and promotion process. All too often veterans are passed over for positions based on issues unrelated to their skill and abilities.

Transitioning back to civilian life isn't easy and veterans sometimes need a little help. They could use support socializing, finding meaningful hobbies, getting involved in their communities, and learning to lead their own lives again. Encouraging them find meaningful outlets and community engagement can make a big difference in their long-term success.

Law Enforcement should also do a better job of ensuring we are not re-traumatizing veterans. They shouldn't just be processed and ignored. Ensuring that they are getting help and avoiding becoming victims of the system is important. They deserve our care and consideration for the sacrifices they have made and the injuries sustained at no fault of their own.

As a nation we are doing much but could also do more. We have experienced a series of wars and have gained from the sacrifices the veterans have made. Sometimes we get so busy in our own lives we forget about those who could have lost their lives so that we can enjoy ours. America is a land of freedom, we should ensure veterans have the greatest opportunities to also enjoy that freedom.

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