Being a veteran in the USA is not a dead-end; there are numerous organizations dealing with health and well-being of veterans and involved in the provision of a wide range of veteran services depending on their needs. The chief entity overseeing all veteran affairs and services in the USA is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); it gives grants to all other veteran services and entities and regulates all veteran-related benefits and activities. This essay is dedicated to analysis of veteran services existing in the USA nowadays and examination of whether they are sufficient and comprehensive enough to cover the entire spectrum of veteran needs of modernity.
Organizations providing assistance to veterans emerged in the USA in the aftermath of WWI, upon recognition of the dramatic effect that active combat produced on the former military. Thousands of disabled and deeply traumatized veterans returned from the WWI battlefield, requiring assistance with transfer to civil life and with addressing their numerous physical and psychological issues (Gerber, 2012). As a result of the need to meet veteran demands in the post-service period, three types of veteran organizations emerged: mixed (comprising disabled and able-bodied veterans), composite (including veterans with a variety of disabilities), and single-population (hosting veterans with a single injury or disability). The division is not mutually exclusive, and some individuals eligible for several service types may be members of numerous organizations.
At present, the mixed organization types in the USA are represented with such entities as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Affairs in the United States, etc. Composite organizations are the ones like the Disabled Veterans of America, while the single-population organizations’ examples include the Paralyzed Veterans Association (the USA) and the Canadian Paraplegics Association (Canada) (Gerber, 2012). However, besides this generic distribution, there are numerous organizations serving specific needs of veterans such as, for instance, entities assisting veterans to transfer to civil life via retraining, employment, housing, etc., those helping homeless veterans and those with a severe mental illness with full-time care and accommodation, those providing psychological counselling and family therapy for troubled families, and those rendering legal advice and assistance for veterans wishing to get more benefits to which they are entitled to (Powers, 2009).
Among the most significant US veteran organizations, one should note the Hope for the Warriors organization founded by military wives in 2006 and helping to improve the quality of veterans’ lives in all domains. This entity gives assistance with career transition and education, health and wellness, and community-building. Another significant organization, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), counts over 2 million veterans and provides support with education, health, and employment. An NGO founded by the US Congress, the United Service Organizations, is also a highly valuable entity working on provision of recreation, care packages, and entertainment for veterans and their families. An organization with an original approach is the Puppies Behind Bars – its participants train prisoners for raising service dogs for further service to wounded war veterans (Top 10 charities that support veterans, 2017).
Summing up the presented evidence, one should note that extensive supportive work is held in the USA to assist veterans with all their needs and embrace their difference and uniqueness of health, career, and educational requirements. As recognition of veteran experiences and lifelong impacts of their service on life quality improves, veterans may get assistance on a free basis from numerous entities working to express gratitude to veterans for their diligent service in the form of a variety of supportive services and facilities. Such comprehensive, joint work on veteran service provision contributes to improved life and health of veterans, thus, contributing to veterans’ greater well-being and psychological comfort in the civil life.
Gerber, D. A. (2012). Disabled veterans in history. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Powers, R. (2009). Veterans benefits for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Top 10 charities that support veterans. (2017). CNBC. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2014/11/14/top-10-charities-that-support-veterans.html?slide=7