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Human Services Programs for Returning War Veterans (Essay Sample)


Proposed Subject: My goal is to research and write about the importance of the critical need of addressing the current state of health and human services programs for returning War Veterans from both Afghanistan and Iraq with an emphasis on Behavioral Health Issues for Veterans. For returning Veterans to achieve a successful transition from military to civilian life, the individual must be mentally balanced from their military service experience and ready for everyday living. In addition, returning Veterans must have a plan for healthy living concerning available job and work opportunities, educational and training opportunities and a safe place to live with access to healthcare and social services. Issues: Since 2001, more than two million U.S. Veterans (men and woman) have served in Afghanistan’s Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraq’s Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). With just basic VA healthcare, and social services benefits, returning Veterans are not getting their mental, physical and economical earned benefits from Federal, State and local agencies Research: My preliminary research (from just this week) concerning Behavioral Health Issues among returning war veterans is from general departmental sources of: U.S. Department of Defense; Department of Veterans Affairs; Mental Health America; Military Pathways, and the National Military Resource Directory. I also plan to seek data from various local and State agencies in health and human services.


Human Services Programs for Returning War Veterans from both Afghanistan and Iraq with an Emphasis on Behavioral Health Issues for Veterans
Client Name:
a). The discharge of around 1.5 million soldiers from outside the U.S. saw the mass reintegration of various soldiers into daily like and society. Expectations of speedy reintegration in society are high due to the associated high levels of discipline and adaptability as prominent military values. However, the girth of present literature points to the opposite effect.
Overview of the returning soldiers (War Veterans)
a). Most of the returning vets found it hard getting reintegrated to civilian life. Psychological trauma emerged as one of the key impediments to reintegration, where war experiences overseas have induced PTSD or depression on a considerable number of soldiers.
b). Further, the perceived lack of social and moral support have caused some soldiers to develop unhealthy lifestyles and engage in risk behaviors, like excessive smoking and drinking, in response to stress build-up, which lead to the heightening of other risks like higher suicide tendencies and increased frequency of conflict with friends and family.
c). Around 2 million military personnel are currently affected by reintegration difficulties, and a growing number of them are succumbing to the effects of stress induced by abrupt changes in occupation and social pressures to adjust. The need for behavioral and social intervention is highlighted as a key emergent concern with regards to the issue.
Analysis of health and human services of the war veterans
a). Various researches indicate that there have been numerous cases of high prevalence of psychological and mental health problems among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans.
b). Government health care services give specialized mental health care programs as a matter of course in light of recent data about reintegration difficulties; the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is largely responsible for giving medical and social help for Vets.
c). Despite the VA’s extensive program, a considerable portion of Vets are still at risk for engaging risk behaviors or retaining/worsening symptoms for PTSD. The VA responded to this by expanding services and placing emphasis on mental health care in recent action.
Challenges and solutions to mental health programs
a). Reluctance to adopt the health care programs by the veterans. A range of reasons like the distance of treatment facilities, as well as the social stigma associated with mental disorders, prevent soldiers from voluntarily from being proactive with regards to the maintenance of their mental health.
b). Family issues. Prioritization of mental health care among Vets did not emerge as a primary concern due to the emergence of frequent familial conflicts.
c.) SUD and suicide rates. The prevalence of substance use disorders and suicide among Vets due to emotional conflictedness and stress are also significant issues that need be addressed in the development of a workable and comprehensive mental health care plan for discharged soldiers.
This study will focus on the current state of health and human service programs for returning War Veterans from both Iraq and Afghanistan. More attention will be provided for the study of their Behavioral Health Issues, because changes that are more drastic have been witnessed on the behavior of the returning veterans. The research will attempt to reveal that there is a need for the veterans to attain more comfortable lifestyle, especially better health behavior during this important military transition to civilian form of life. In this regard, the study will try to establish such requirements for successful transition to a healthy lifestyle can only be attained when the veterans are mentally fit and are ready to assimilate and fit well in the modern daily life events and activities. Focusing on such requirements, research will explore that the returning veterans ought to be given good jobs, which are well paying, education and training facilities. This will be incorporated under good healthy living plans, which also includes better healthcare programs, social amenities and secure places of residence.
The research will also borrow from some statistical findings from previous researches, surveys and reports to support its arguments. For example, it will be explored that more than 2,000, 000 of the veterans were posted to various countries of operation, especially in Afghanistan. The others were posted in Iraqi operation, as early as 2001. The study will also reveal that when the veterans were in Iraq and Afghanistan, they failed to get several benefits. Such essential benefits, which the veterans were deprived by the state, federal and local agencies, included economic, physical, health, and mental ones. To this end, it will be explained that the veterans could only access basic social services Veteran Affair (VA) healthcare programs. This research will draw much emphasis on behavioral health issues, which affect returning war veterans, especially those ones from general departmental sources. Here, the department sources to be analyzed include the Department of Veteran Affairs; Mental Health America, the United States (U.S) Department of Defense, the National Military Resource Security Directory, and the Military Pathways.
Statistics reveal that at least 1.5 million soldiers from the United States of America have either once served or are currently in Afghanistan or Iraq on military duties (“National Center for PTSD”, 2010b). The military or forces, as the name suggests; is an exceptional job with unique demands. Military officers have taken an oath to implement policies of the government regardless of their individual principles and will. Despite the fact that it is a voluntary job, failure to execute orders could lead to severe punishment. Once out of the military, most soldiers struggle to transits from the military to civilian life for various reasons. This is majorly because leaving the military life comes with numerous changes such as relocation, search for another job and the overall drift to a total new community and lifestyle is an absolute transition (Brancu, Straits-Troster, & Kudler, 2011).
Overview of the Returning Soldiers (War Veterans)
Several ex-soldiers fail to fit in the society and end up in despicable places because they could not find the best guidance on how to transit to civilian life and lead upright lives absent conflict with societal norms and the rule of law. Due to the high discipline in the military, reports showed that majority of ex-soldiers settle smoothly in the society (Calhoun, Elter, Jones, Kudler, & Straits-Trester, 2008). However, according to (“National Center for PTSD”, 2010b) more research showed that conservative soldiers find difficulties to transit to outside society. Major of these soldiers suffer psychological, mental and social problems.
Many veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq did not show signs of behavioral or psychological trauma or brain damages (Sayer, 2011). Despite the fact that many soldiers returned with no signs of physical injuries, majority had symptoms of PTSD or depression. That is why they all must go through readjustment program in order for them to reintegrate back to the society. This is because bringing together family and military duties, getting back to civilian life after years living in a cruel setting, and adjusting from combat experience could pose bigger challenges to the ex-soldiers and their families (Killgore et al., 2008). Most ex-soldiers develop feelings such as being edgy and easily startled, leading to conflict with the outside society. This is because, during their military life, behaviors such as constant alertness in the war field were vital for survival; such behaviors would translate to troublesome behavior in civilian life (Milliken, Auchterlonie, & Hoge, 2007).
Veterans need social and moral support as they adjust to civilian life. They ex-soldiers will need the healthcare, social service and spiritual councilors to provide solutions to some of the challenges they are likely to face once they are out of prison. Therefore, it is important that these experts be well prepared to handle such cases. Soldiers experience numerous stresses once they live military life such as lack of sleep, sadness, hopelessness, rejection and nightmares. Later, they end up doing aggressive behaviors, smoking and drinking excessively. When it comes to helping such veterans, the level of the effect and the duration through which one could have been involved in such worrisome behavior will be considered in order to seek the ultimate professional help (Killgore et al., 2008). The Veteran Affairs unit/department (VA) provides more healthcare services (Brancu, Straits-Troster, & Kudler, 2011). It offers services such as screening, diagnosis and treatment in a bid to help ex-soldiers overcome discrimination and other social barriers which may bar them from seeking medical care (Brancu, Straits-Troster, & Kudler, 2011).
Military service is difficult, overly demanding and dangerous; as a result returning to civilian life for a career soldier poses a great challenge according to different surveys undertaken by various organizations. A classic example is the Pew-Research Center survey which took consideration of 1,853 war veterans (Tanielian, Jaycox, Schell, Marshall, Burnam, & Eibner, 2008). While 72% report they had an easy transition from military to civilian life, 27% confessed having difficulty readjusting (Brancu, Straits-Troster, & Kudler, 2011). This proportion swells to 44% whe...
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