Day 43 – Caring for Our Military Veterans

Statista: In 2019, there were more than 18 million veterans in the United States. Almost 6 million had served in the Vietnam War, and less than 10 thousand remained from wars prior to World War II.

USA Today: More than 5 million veterans have at least one disability, 1.2 million live in poverty, and 77% of veterans aged 18 to 64 are employed or looking for work. At the end of 2018, an estimated 37,878 veterans were homeless. Now over 40,000.  Frequent disabilities faced by Veterans include:

  • Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • PTSD and Other Mental Health Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Diseases Caused by Jet Fuel or Other Chemical Exposures

WIKI: United States military veteran suicide is an ongoing phenomenon. NBC News: Veterans are twice as likely as civilians to die by suicide; in 2015 it was 2.1 times higher among veterans compared with nonveteran adults. TIME: U.S. Military Suicides Have Increased as Much as 20% During Pandemic.

The Veteran Administration’s Mission: To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans.

CNBC: Unfortunately, caring for our Veterans has not always been a national priority. The VA has faced reports of excessive and contradictory spending, allegations of inadequate health care, a massive backlog of benefits claims. Sometimes veterans have faced wait times of months, or even years, just to get an appointment at their VA care center.

Many times, VA facilities have been poorly managed. As a consequence there have been tragic situations: Military Times: Repots ‘Baffling’ errors at veterans home where 76 died amid COVID-19 outbreak. AARP: Veterans Affairs System Coronavirus Deaths Near 3,500; Cases Top 61,000.

Even of late, in our Nashville suburb of Murfreesboro, the struggle continues; The Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Murfreesboro had 12 residents die from complications of the novel coronavirus during the month of August. Across Tennessee, more than 460 residents in such facilities have died. Daily News Journal.

Those that serve and protect us, at home and abroad, should be better respected and cared for. This featured snippet from my Google Search provides one website that lists of some of the best and worst Veterans Charities.

For my donation today, I chose The Semper Fi & America’s Fund, which received an A+ Rating from Charity Navigator for 9 consecutive years, 1 of only 2 veteran non-profits to do such.