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Study: Vets Face Same Challenges as All Americans, But It’s Worse

Posted on Apr 23, 2020 07:06 pm

Many veterans will struggle with unemployment, financial instability and mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, according to a recent report from the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

The study said community-based and national support programs should be better prepared to help veterans, who are facing the same uncertainties as all Americans but often have additional challenges related to their past service.

“Our veterans and their families are often the first to volunteer and the last to ask for help,” the study said. “They endure through adversity and are valuable contributors in communities around the country.”

Before the pandemic, unemployment among veterans was at its lowest point in 19 years, but many veterans have less than two months of expenses set aside, the study said. Those who live in communities that rely on the hardest-hit industries may have difficulty finding jobs, forcing them to live on credit or depend on temporary safety-net programs.

“Veterans return home to communities, not to governments, and it is at the community level where their success is determined,” the report’s authors conclude. “Though the economic impacts of COVID-19 will be felt throughout the nation, certain communities, including several with significant veteran populations, may feel disproportionate effect.”

Social isolation is also a challenge for veterans, who die by suicide at a greater rate than the general population.

“Caring for those with pre-existing mental health conditions needs to be a priority before symptoms get worse and lead to grave outcomes.”

Army photo by Madeline Grosh

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Post courtesy of the Association of Defense Communities

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