What Will Returning Afghanistan Veterans Mean to Families?
More Veteran Suicides And More Families Traumatized
With President Biden finishing off what three previous administrations couldn’t, the end of the war in Afghanistan means many soldiers will coming stateside. While most of them will not be discharged, some will turn into Afghanistan Veterans. It is those returning Afghanistan warriors that we worry about. If they are like a percentage of their predecessors, they will have PTSD. Here’s what we know: PTSD and families don’t mix.
Despite the good news coming from the Veterans Administration about soldier suicide being on the decline, the numbers are still painful to accept. In 2019, there were 6,261 Veteran suicides. That’s down from the all time high of 2017. See the newly leased Veteran suicide report by clicking on the cover image.
Overall, civilian suicides are also lower in the past few years, so the Veterans are benefitting from a national trend that is, in turn, either benefitting from greater awareness and acceptability when it comes to asking for help, or it’s just that the reporting is wrong. Prior to this report, other reports have come out saying that the number of Veteran suicides is under-reported due to a variety of factors. Reaching these families is also hard, and now that returning Afghanistan war soldiers are coming home, Congress needs to intensify their support for PTSD treatment and postvention when suicide prevention fails.
Wherever the truth may lie, with Afghanistan Veterans coming home, they will soon face the same challenges all Vets face. Homelessness, the emptiness of civilian life, the housing crisis, the COVID pandemic, extremeism in our political system, and global burning that has temperatures and wild fires raging like never before.
We wish those returning all the best and for those returning to their families, we wish them more than that. We wish that they get connected to the VA. As lacking as it is, being connected to the local one gives you a better chance at not killing youself. And when you don’t do that, we don’t have to take care of your families once you’re gone.
ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER
Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.
Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.
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