It’s an unfortunate fact that many of our veterans returning from tour arrive at their doorstep with a suitcase full of struggles.
From mental health to financial concerns, a post-military life can be extremely challenging for many. While there are resources available for veterans to turn to, many former servicemen and women are not aware of them.
To help try and rectify this issue, we’ve pulled together a list of resources available to struggling veterans and their families at this time.
Veteran Services is perhaps the most well-known support network available for veterans across the United States.
VA benefits are available to anyone who has served in the armed forces and been discharged through any means other than dishonorable conditions.
The benefits are outlined in the Federal Benefits Booklet. However, the primary resources and services include:
Veterans can access health care, information and a variety of services through VA. It is the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with over 1,400 sites across the United States.
- Community clinics
- Living centers
- Readjustment centers
- Counseling groups
There are a number of benefit options available through VA that help deal with typical veteran concerns and lifestyle issues. These include pensions, survivor benefits, rehabilitation, home loan guarantees, and life insurance coverage.
It’s important to note many of these are available to the families of veterans, including widows.
Burials and Memorials
This unfortunate service is available for the following service members:
- National Guard members
- Eligible family members
This service will cover the cost of internment, headstones, and markers. A VA national cemetery spot will be offered and kept in excellent condition.
Of course, it’s important veterans understand fully which benefits they’re entitled to, as it will not always be outlined to them. Veteran-owned services such as Vet Comp & Pen are essential for any veteran confused about what medical and financial support they should be receiving.
Outside of the VA medical services, there are some long-term care options available to veterans who may be struggling with physical or invisible ailments developed on the field.
Unfortunately, many of these can be extremely expensive for your average military family, especially once a military career is over.
Fortunately, there are programs such as Aid and Attendance, which offer veterans the opportunity to access funds that cover the cost of assisted living programs and nursing homes. This allows struggling families, particularly those with disabled parents or partners, some relief from their responsibilities as caregivers along with monetary support for comfort and equipment.
American corporate partners
It’s not uncommon for veterans to spend their first few years out of the military struggling to find work. This can be an intensely difficult period in their lives and the lives of their families, not just for financial reasons, but in regard to self-worth.
To help improve the career prospects of ex-military personnel struggling to find their place and pay their bills, the American Corporate Partners plan was created.
This plan does not shy away from the idea that many veterans have spent their entire adult life in the military. Instead of forcing unrealistic expectations on them, it looks to pair veterans with top companies and corporations to help them secure employment. It can be accessed in the months before a military career comes to an end or years after they have left the forces.
This plan offers unique career opportunities, along with a bespoke one-to-one mentorship scheme and access to excellent training opportunities with leading companies.
How to combat common struggles
To round off, we will cover some common struggles veterans face in 2021, and how you can begin to combat them in tandem with these support mechanisms.
Mental health — take it seriously
As I’m sure many readers will know, mental health has not always been the hot topic issue it is today.
Thankfully, times have changed, and the military support systems are starting to wake up to the significant number of ex-servicemen and women who are suddenly struggling with conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Taking mental health seriously can be a significant mindset change, but it’s essential for the more potentially harmful change of transition back into civilian life. Many veterans struggle with this, especially when they have limited prospects back home. Being more in-tune with your mental health can help address your feelings and combat them before they become a serious detriment to your friends and family.
There are a number of mental health support services online, including the Veteran Mental Health Blog, which details advice for many of the common struggles you or a loved one may be dealing with.
Poor health — address your diet and exercise
When you’re serving it’s easy to stay in shape.
Your daily routine is incredibly regimented, and your diet even more so. You need to be in shape to do your duties properly after all. You might aim to keep up your fitness outside of the force, but without strict waking hours, the comradery, and the equipment on hand it can be hard to stick to a fitness plan.
Some veterans turn to food, drink, and other excesses to make post-military life more manageable. This can lead to struggles down the line and land families with significant health bills in the worst-case scenario, especially when a relative is also struggling with an injury.
Start to rectify this by following simple health guides with accessible diet plans such as those available on verywellfit.com. Taking supplements is a great way to combat the loss of specific nutrients and vitamins, but you should consult your doctor before basing your diet around them.
These support systems can help veterans feel worthy again, provide funding for key medical treatments and help families feel more secure in their future.
Although it may not seem like it, there are organizations and resources out there for veterans facing intense challenges. Remember to consider the key advice at the end of the article and take your health and finances seriously, even during stressful periods.