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Monday, May 28, 2012
On Memorial Day We Remember to Pray for Homeless Veterans
Veterans make up almost a quarter of the homeless population in the United States. The government says there are as many as 200,000 homeless veterans; the majority served in the Vietnam War. Some served in Korea or even World War II. About 2,000 served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The VA and several nongovernmental organizations have created programs that address the special needs of today's veterans returning from war. In addition to treating physical and mental injuries, there are career centers and counseling programs. But the VA still expects the homeless rate among the nation's newest veterans to rise because of the violent nature of combat seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.Officials say many more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer post-traumatic stress disorder than veterans of previous wars. The government says PTSD is one of the leading causes of homelessness among veterans. "They come back, and they are having night trauma, they are having difficulty sleeping. They are feeling alienated," says Peter Dougherty, the director of homeless programs for the VA.
The VA says 70 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan saw some form of combat, either through firefights, rocket attacks or the most common strikes on troops -- roadside bomb attacks on their vehicles. That is three times the rate of combat experienced by Vietnam veterans, according to the VA. (Source CNN)______________