Friday, 11 November 2011

Veterans day

Listening to National Public Radio in the car yesterday, there was a discussion and phone-in about war veterans. A lot of vets were calling in about their situation since leaving the army. Whatever we might think about the rights and wrongs of all the wars the US and it's European allies have been involved in, their stories were incredibly sad and tragic. What really got me, was the high level of homelessness and unemployment . About 1/3 or 110,000 of the male adult homeless population are veterans, and more than 1/2 of these are African American or Hispanic. On top of all this you have post-traumatic stress disorder, mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, marriage and family breakups
I find it hard to understand politicians that are happy to send young men and women to war but are not willing to take responsibility of these same people once they leave the army. 
More info on unemployment of young vets here at Bloomberg.
Also on the NPR website are portraits of Veterans by Suzanne Opton
Through The Lens: Seeing Veterans Up Close
©Suzannes Opton