Have you ever considered joining the military? Well have you ever thought of the things that you would have to face after committing your live for four years or more? In most cases a lot of people do not but this is a huge epidemic that is affecting the live of so many of our veterans. The things that our armed forces are putting themselves through and their loved ones is not something we should take lightly. For one I do not want to see someone that put their lives on the line in order for us to have what we all do today, to have to suffer in so many ways after the services. However, there are things that we can do to help out our veterans with PTSD, adapting to civilian life afterwards, as well as preventing them from committing suicide.
One of the most common things that you hear about our veterans having to deal with is post-traumatic stress disorder also known as PTSD. This unfortunate illness can change the lives of so many people. PTSD is a disabling trauma and stress-related disorder that may occur after experiencing a traumatic event such as combat, that has a negative alterations in cognitions and mood, alterations in arousal and reactivity(Kip et al.). Even though possibly getting PTSD would be something that comes along with joining and there are many organizations that are there to help people who seek it. However there are still many veterans that will not want help from those who are so willing to give it. There are some veterans that find that PTSD are obtained by the weak minded people when that’s not the case at all, but this is one of the reasons they restrain from the help they are in so much need of. Something that will improve this problem would be that before anyone decided to reenlist or consider getting out of the military should have to take some type of test in order to ensure their mental stability. These people would be provided by organization that already want to help people with PTSD. These people will be trained in detecting mental illnesses as well as just giving advice on how to deal with life.
After making a life changing decision of joining, there is also now the life changing decision you have to make of getting out. This is another barrier that our service men and women face because they have come accustomed to the life in the military, that the thought of life outside the military is scary to think about. This is part of the reason why many people reenlist because they are so use to the way things have been for four years or plus. Now the reality of life begins to hit them. If they joined right out of high school they have no educational background to lean on and have to consider enrolling in school. Or the option in just trying to find a job. “When service men and women transition home and attempt to reintegrate into civilian society, they find that the skills, coping mechanisms, beliefs, and social mores which allowed them to survive in combat make it harder to return to civilian life”(Gitelson). Once again there are many organizations and options that can help when trying to get back into school and finding a job. But to make things so much more easier with this transition our veterans should have their own personal counselor that they can get school, work, personal, and even what steps to get to becoming a homeowner advice from. Many people know that once you join the military that they will pay or help pay for your schooling, but do all our veterans really know the steps to take in order to be successful after? Majority of the time they don’t which is why having someone there to guide you every step of the way will be so much more beneficial to our veterans.
A topic that most don’t like to talk about but is another huge problem that our men and women face during and after the military, which are suicides. This horrible outbreak of the people that were so willing to put their lives on the line to protect everyone back home have to deal with not being able to handle live. In the article “Military Suicides” the branch that has the most the suicides is the army. According to a statistics Caucasian males between the age of eighteen and twenty four that are generally married are the ones that have the higher suicide rate(Katel). Suicidal behavior is an important issue in the military and firearms as a means of suicide are available in the military. A combination of psychosocial problems with availability of firearms contributes to incidents of suicide in the military(Sher and Vilens). The fact that weapons are so accessible to people in the military will make the thought of committing suicide that much more likely to happen because they have that weapon. In order to prevent things like this from happening when our service men and women go to combat the should be able to get a certain amount of time off in order to recover from things that were really traumatic during combat. Having this certain amount of time off will allow that person to be able to try and recover from anything emotionally damaging and if they do not recover in that time then further measures should be taken to make sure that their mental stability gets back to where it’s supposed to be.
Overall dealing with all or any of these horrible effects of being in the military is not something anyone wants to be apart of. By having support from your family, friends, and organizations that are out there willing to help can make that much more of a difference in the lives of our armed forces. In order for everyone that joined and that is trying to get back into the swing of things outside of the military, it would be extremely beneficial and so much more helpful if every single one of these people were provided which their own personal counselor for at least one year in order to have that much more easier of a transition. We all thank everyone that served and saved the lives of so many, but we can do our part and help out all our veterans with their own personal villains that they are not able to fight alone on anymore because in the end they can not do it alone. You can be a hero by helping a hero.
Gitelson, David, et al. Treating Young Veterans : Promoting Resilience through Practice and
Advocacy. Springer Publishing Company, 2011. EBSCOhost,
Katel, Peter. “Military Suicides.” CQ Researcher, 23 Sept. 2011, pp. 781-804,
Kip, Kevin E., et al. “Randomized Controlled Trial of Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
for Symptoms of Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” Military
Medicine, vol. 178, no. 12, Dec. 2013, pp. 1298-1309. EBSCOhost,
Ramchand, Rajeev, et al. “Helping Loss Survivors Grieve.” Suicide Postvention in the
Department of Defense: Evidence, Policies and Procedures, and Perspectives of Loss
Survivors, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif., 2015, pp. 31–40. JSTOR,
Sher, Leo and Alexander Vilens. Suicide and the Military. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2009.