Veterans: New resource for war vets
WHAT’S UP: Close to 1 million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating the largest group of war veterans since the Vietnam era, which ended 30 years ago. “Regardless of how you feel about the war, most of us agree that those service members deserve the best possible care and treatment our country can provide,” says an advocacy group called Veterans For Common Sense. “Unfortunately … some of our service members have fallen through the cracks with reports of homelessness, trauma and suicide.” In response, the group has compiled an unbiased guide for returning service members to help them navigate the bewildering array of benefits and programs aimed at those who have served.
WHAT’S NEXT: “Our goal is to … let the returning veterans know of where they can get assistance if there are any issues with readjustment on their return home,” the group says. The guide, posted on the Web site www.veteransforcommonsense.org, includes links to official government offices, as well as nongovernment and grass-roots groups. It even lists such organizations as Adopt-A-Platoon or Operation Hero Miles that directly support troops in the field. The group thinks its guide will be an important resource, pointing out that a New England Journal of Medicine report estimated that up to 15 percent of veterans returning from the war in Iraq eventually may seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.