Why We Must Address The Legacy of Care to Help Our Veterans

I have been posting about significant and sometimes tragic needs of veterans as they transition from military life. Issues include: 

  • The crushing rate of veteran suicides
  • Effects of posttraumatic stress and its impact on veteran’s families
  • How the Veterans Administration is completely overwhelmed even in processing the current claims of our veterans
  • The issues surrounding employing veterans, and
  • The general challenges associated with transition.

This list comprises a legacy that needs to be addressed so our veterans can resume a normal life.

Our veterans are resilient and valiant men and women, not destructively entitled

We need a legacy of care for our veterans
We must realize what veterans have sacrificed—their lives, time, even their own mental health—for the venerable cause of keeping peace and security(photo courtesy of

Our veterans are usually not people who ask for more than they deserve. However, war has taken a huge personal, emotional and relational toll on them and their families.

Many veterans live in a tragic set of realities. They struggle in relationships that often culminate in divorce and broken homes. For those who struggle, it seems normal lives are unachievable; hope is alien.

There is no one to blame for the issues veteran’s face.

Like many of our social problems, answers for those our veterans face do not come easy. However, we must realize what these citizens have sacrificed—their lives, time, even their own mental health—for the venerable cause of keeping peace and security.

Adhering to our country’s foreign policies may have resulted in the conditions veterans (and their families) may face. Whether you or I agree with the specifics for which they fought is not relevant.  Their problems are personal, and stewardship requires us to care for our own, to make sure their needs are met, particularly if they incurred life-altering consequences.

These men and women are our sons, daughters, dads, moms and neighbors. 

When will we respond to the realization that it takes more than a small group of clinics to deal with issues that we face as a nation?

I have witnessed more recent support for veterans than in a very long time. For that I am also thankful.

I also applaud the hundreds of nonprofits and other innovators who have diligently sought to help our veterans through programs and funding. These initiatives may provide significant benefits to our veterans locally and nationally. Most are impressive and well-conceived and will indeed help our veterans. This support is all so admirable.

The problem is too vast to relegate to our government alone.

Action must go forward in every community where a veteran is in need.

Help may occur in their family, in a VA hospital or a community center. It could be in a doctor’s office or a place of employment. It may be in a church or community group. But wherever we find veterans, we will find significant needs for support.

I urge each of us to consider helping veterans and their families. There is much to do and much to discover about the growing needs of this community.

I will continue to work on our own concept of helping veterans connect to veterans.

We outlined an effective program on the Website of our partner, American Veterans Tribute Organization.

I am excited about this potential for veterans and their families. But even our initiative to help our veterans have places to process and gain support for transition to a normal life, if successful, will need others.

Together, I am optimistic the difference we can make will effect our nation. However, we must commit to serve those who have so valiantly served us. We need to foster a legacy of care for the needs of these amazing individuals. What a tragedy should we give them less than they deserve.

While I will continue to raise veteran’s issues, I will close this set of posts with a plea. Please support and care for our veterans and their families. They need the support of all those who touch them and are in relationship with them. Encompassing support can be a shining example of what Americans can do to help those who have given so greatly for us.

Thank you so much to our veterans and their families for your many sacrifices. We all owe you more than we can possibly give.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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