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These Alarming Statistics Keep Us Motivated To Do What We Can To Help

A solid Life Plan and taking advantage of Veterans resources can make a huge difference in our veterans' and current war heroes' lives and families!

Suicides: 2009 Suicide statistics are climbing for returning Iraq war troops. A 2007 CBS Investigation of 2005 deaths in 45 states concluded that 120 veterans commit suicide each week. (Source: CBS News, “Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans", November 13, 2007) In May of 2007, the VA reported that upwards of 1,000 veterans in their care commit suicide each year. Josh Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 2219), more than 115, 000 veterans attempt suicide every year accounting for only 11% of the population, and nearly 20% suicide attempts in the entire United States each year. (Source: Falls Church News Press, May 16, 2007)

Domestic Violence: The Miles Foundation Inc. has reported that calls to their Domestic Violence Hotline for Military Spouses has increased from 50 to 500 per month since the start of the Iraq War.

Child Abuse: In May of 2007, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that incidents of child abuse involving military families either leaving or just returning from deployment had risen 30% since. 2001.

Divorce: According to U.S. Army data, the number of active-duty soldiers getting divorced has been rising sharply with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Last year 3,325 Army officers ended in divorce; up 78% from 2003. For enlisted personnel, the 7,152 divorces last year were 28% more than in 2003 and up 53% from 2000. (Source: USA Today, June 8, 2005)

Homelessness in the U. S. Among Military Heroes: One in four (25%) of people living on our U. S. streets are Military Veterans. According to a 2007 National Alliance to End Homelessness report 25% of America’s homeless are veterans. (Nearly 300,000 Veterans) Iraq female war veterans are the fastest growing statistic today. (2009)

Mental Health and Substance Abuse: According to Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans of America, more than 78,000 OIF/OEF veterans have sought help for mental health related issues and more than 28,000 have been treated for substance abuse (Source: IAVA, “Mental Health Problems Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans,” 3/24/07).

PTSD Claims: The VA has seen more than a tenfold increase in PTSD claims since the start of the Iraq war. According to the VA, 48,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have already been diagnosed with PTSD. (Source: “Veterans are Home but Not at Ease,” James Hohmann, Dallas Morning News, November 11, 2007)

PTSD: 2009 statistics are higher than ever before based on VA statistics and multiple tours to the war zone. The VA is doing all it can to address the problem, but there is still much work to be done. In November of 2007, a US Army reported that 40% of reservists returning from Iraq need treatment for depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Joblessness: 2009 Unemployment is higher than in past years for war vets. The U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics reported that for the first three quarters of 2005, nearly 15% of veterans aged 20-24 years of age were jobless, three times the national average.

VA Assistance - 2009: Only 30% of Veterans seek help from the Veteran’s Administration. According to the military sources, most who suffer from combat related emotional and psychological problems do not seek help. Many experts believe this is due to the “adapt and overcome culture of the military, or a fear of being stigmatized as needing psychological help. (Source: VA interviews)

The Veteran's Administration in Washington DC is doing what it can to assist all current war heroes and veterans, but there is still much work to be done by everyone who can help.

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs - Veteran Population 2007

Statistics on Women in the Military Source: Department of Veterans Affairs - Women's Veteran Population 2008

VA Pledge to Women Veterans on Women's Equality Day
WASHINGTON (Aug. 26, 2009) - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki pledged today on Women's Equality Day that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will work to ensure the nation upholds its obligation to meet the needs of our Veterans - including women Veterans.

"Our Veterans deserve the very best care. Anything less is unacceptable," Secretary Shinseki said. "If we are to transform VA into a 21st century organization, we need to continually improve our services to women Veterans."

Although VA has long provided equal benefits to women Veterans, the Department has embarked on new initiatives to meet their unique needs. These initiatives include:
  • Comprehensive primary care and specialized medical care at every VA medical center

  • Enhanced mental health care specifically for women Veterans;

  • Staffing every VA medical center with a women Veterans program manager;

  • Creating a mini-residency on women's health for primary care physicians;

  • Supporting a multifaceted research program on women's health;

  • Improving communication and outreach to women Veterans; and

  • Continuing the operation of organizations such as VA's Center for Women Veterans and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group.
"During this observance we should remember the special contributions and sacrifices of the 200,000 women currently serving in the armed forces and 1.8 million who are Veterans," Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth said.

Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veteran population. They comprise 7.5 percent of the total Veteran population and nearly 5.5 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.

VA estimates women Veterans will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population by 2020 and 9.5 percent of VA patients.
(Source: VA News Releases)

REPORT OF THE WEEK: Female Iraq Veterans Fastest Growing Population of Homeless Support our troops


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