The Voice: Veterans’ Benefits Need To Be More Readily Accessible For Soldiers

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This past weekend we celebrated Veterans Day.

Some called all of the veterans they know and wished them a happy Veterans Day, and others wrote a Facebook post honoring them.

And we do this every year on Veterans Day, celebrating those who sacrficed to fight for their country.

So for a day it all seems worth it, but what about the other 364 days of the year?

What about the 23 percent of the nation’s homeless people who are veterans who don’t get a “Happy Veterans Day,” according to nationalhomeless.org?

When we as a country are only paying attention to our soldiers one day out of the year, we don’t see that
some soldiers are being medically discharged from the military with nowhere to go, and some are coming back from war or overseas with no family to come home to.

Most don’t know what benefits are out there for them and some cannot access them.

Here at UCA, many students are classified as veterans and can go right over to Veterans Affairs on campus in
Harrin Hall and speak to David Williams and learn everything there is to know about what kinds of benefits they are entitled to.

However, life for most is not like living on a college campus.

In many cases, if a soldier is still active duty when returning home from overseas, he or she will be housed and taken care of by the military, but if he or she got hurt and is medically discharged, the military will return them home and they are expected to pick up where they left off in life.

Soldiers return home having nowhere to go and no way to contact anyone, so many have no way of contacting Veterans’ services or even finding out what kind of benefits or assistance they could recieve.

Other times, soldiers can access these benefits, but are just not aware that they are available.

According to the Veterans Affairs website, they offer health care benefits, and financial compensation benefits in education, home loans and vocational rehabilitation.

They even offer burial services to assist for family members of veterans.

To learn any more about these benefits, anyone can simply click “Get started” after visiting their website, va.gov.

For those that cannot access the internet there is a veteran crisis line that to call: 1(800) 273- 8255 or
there may be VA centers or benefit offices in nearby areas.

Unfortunately, the information may be too hard to access in which case it is every American citizen’s job to ensure that veterans know that their country is willing to help them even when they are no longer in service.

Each soldier has endured physical stress, been away from home for long periods of time and are moved around from country to country at times.

They deserve a little more than 24 hours and a “Happy Veterans Day.”

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Des'ree is a 22- year- old Journalism major with a minor in English. When she is not busy working as Online Editor for The Echo she likes to read, write, travel, and try new things.

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