With continued overseas commitments and enduring wars, service members face increasing deployments, PTSD, homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse and suicide rates. The cost of long-term care to veterans was estimated at $600 billion in 2007, according to a Harvard University study. Issues facing veterans are not only the veterans’ issues. Failure to recognize or address veterans’ problems weakens the armor of our society, abandoning those who served and sacrificed in the name of our country. I believe we can bridge the divide between military and civilian cultures, through promoting candid conversation regarding the cost of war to our nation and its protectors. Our brave service members require neither sympathy nor accolades, but rather a supportive environment where voices can be heard in an open, inclusive dialogue. So I ask you “what can you do for your country, your soldiers, and your fellow citizens?”
Realistic approaches toward mitigating the long-term costs of war upon our nation and soldiers can be found on The Frontlines.“The Frontlines” empowers members of the armed forces, veterans, family and friends through a network that provides resources, education, and the ability to share their stories from the frontlines. Veterans and their descendants represent nearly 1/3 of the total U.S. population, and yet only 8 million veterans currently access their benefits (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2010). The Frontlines is a social utility network, which overcomes this disparity by uniting all federal, state, and local veteran organizations, in order to enhance veteran awareness about disability, medical, educational benefits, and foster a safe inclusive environment for storytelling as a form of healing. “Fronts Change. Memories Don’t.”
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