There are countless veterans who have given everything to their country. When members of the military return home, readjusting to life in the states isn't always easy. There's still a long way to go in terms of providing for a group of people who have done so much, but there are many useful programs in place. From housing support to finding a new job, the military can assist veterans in a new life chapter and many of the chapters yet to come. Here are just some ways veterans can get the support they need and deserve.
1. Financial Assistance
Credit unions specifically for service members can offer many benefits that aren't available anywhere else. For example, many loans have better rates and payment options. A [VA home loan] (https://www.navyfederal.org/loans-cards/mortgage/mortgage-rates/va-loans.php) can be extremely useful for veterans looking to begin life outside of the military. There are several other forms of assistance, like government grants that can help veterans struggling to pay for basic needs. Many of these programs don't require repayment, helping to ease some financial stress.
2. Mental Health Support
For too many years, the [mental health] (https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/) of veterans was misunderstood and neglected. Even now, the stigma around mental health has prevented many veterans from seeking the support that could help facilitate their reintroduction to civilian life. There are databases that veterans can use to easily search for healthcare providers in their area depending on their symptoms, but a medical diagnosis may be necessary. Even veterans who don't appear to be suffering from severe mental health issues can benefit from counseling, especially if they are about to leave service or have done so recently. There are even family programs available, which is important when more than one individual has to adjust to a new normal.
3. Programs for Substance Abuse
Many veterans are also susceptible to alcohol or substance abuse, so it is important to know the signs of addictive behavior. There are many aspects of service that can trigger these behaviors, and addiction may go unnoticed until veterans are unable to function in their daily lives. There are many groups and treatment centers available specifically for veterans, which may be a better fit than a facility that is inexperienced with veteran patients.
4. Active Hiring
Many veterans have been expertly and intensely trained in a huge variety of vocations. These skill sets are invaluable in many industries, but there are also systems in place to give veterans help in finding a job. Veteran job placement centers can be useful, but veterans can also search for companies that have pledged a veteran [hiring initiative] (https://www.militaryhire.com/veteran-friendly-employer.servlet) , since those businesses may be more motivated when it comes to hiring vets.
Many veterans feel lost when they leave active service, and finding a career they find rewarding can be difficult after years of dedication to a military career. Luckily they can gain access to career counseling to help them figure out the next steps. They may decide to go back to school or find a training program, and there are VA education benefits to help pay for those sources of education.
6. Housing Assistance
Unfortunately, many veterans experience homelessness at one point or another. There are community centers and VA medical centers that can help right away if a veteran is in an unstable living situation and believes they are facing homelessness. VA resources don't just get vets off the street, but also can assist with leasing and buying property. Homeless veterans can be quickly connected with healthcare providers and community employment centers.
Veterans all have unique experiences of serving in the military, so there's no one cookie-cutter approach to reintegration. For this reason, the resources available to veterans are more important than ever, and it is essential that vets learn about and have access to these programs. Veterans served their country, so it's only right that their country is able to support them when they come home.
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