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There are currently over 22 million veterans in the U.S. Many are soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. One million more service members will be reentering civilian life over the next five years. That also means there will be one million adjustments to civilian life that will be taking place simultaneously. If not treated properly, these adjustments can mean a life of struggle and disappointment for the returning veteran, and ultimately create a large negative impact on society.

It is imperative to implement a permanent, life changing solution for veterans and their families to prevent a declining economy and weekend global presence. Our organization, Veterans Empowered to Success (V.E.T.S.) is the answer.

The 5 categories of need:

Healing and Well-being: Suicide and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) rates remain alarmingly high. About 22 veterans committed suicide each day in 2010 and 228,875 troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan returned with PTSD as of 2012. 5 Veterans commit suicide a day. Female veterans seek help dealing with Military Sexual Trauma (MST), a form of PTSD. A mindset of trauma, stress, anxiety and depression can adversely affect the following:

Home Stability: Veterans represent 11% of the adult civilian population, but 26% of the homeless population, according to the Homeless Research Institute. Females remain the fastest growing population among the homeless.

Gainful Employment: The veteran unemployment rate, for post 9/11 veterans, is higher than the unemployment rate of their civilian counterparts.

Fiscal Literacy/Responsibility: Military members in general are less familiar with household budgets, more likely to be targets for predatory lenders and “may not have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary for being financially independent and managing money.”
Education Counseling: Veterans need help in understanding how to best utilize the GI Bill and maximizing this benefit.

First and foremost, it is important for our veterans to have a healthy state of mind. Imbalanced mental health can lead to unemployment, poverty and homelessness. These effects can be felt at every level of society, and will certainly create a negative impact on our local communities and society as a whole. There are organizations and programs available to veterans, but what is needed is a permanent comprehensive approach to help empower veterans to be successful in their lives and communities.

We also should be mindful on the impact on service members’ families. As a result of duty assignments, members of the military are often separated for lengthy periods of time from their families and sent to distant, dangerous or unknown locations. 

A family that loses the active presence of a parent through separation faces significant challenges and stress. During the parent’s deployment, family members may feel isolated, unsupported and anxious. Children’s response to the stress of separation can range from are: perceived lack of love, aggression, regression, irritability, fearful that parent is injured/dead apathy, sexual acting out, or drug/alcohol abuse.

V.E.T.S is a Veteran centered organization helping veterans, their families, children and our communities. We offer a safe and healing environment in support of all veterans, with emphasis placed on female veterans, their special needs and challenges.

We are an alternative and integrative medical center devoted to helping veterans live, healthier and productive lives. We offer innovative, synergistic therapies that are focused on improving over-all health rather than on managing symptoms. Collaborative efforts with complimentary organizations to provide customized and well-rounded treatment.

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