A Time to Remember

Julianna French

Remember how alone you felt upon first leaving for college — how it felt to lose your sense of community? How about when you went home for the first time? When you realized how you’ve changed, and how old friendships and roles don’t feel the same as they once did? This is what it’s like for those returning home from the military. They leave behind a tightknit community, only to find out they no longer fit into their original one.

Upon leaving the military, you no longer have set goals to accomplish, and this can lead to feeling as if you have no purpose in life. This sense of purposelessness is often exacerbated by the inability to find jobs. According to Care 2, the rate of unemployment among veterans is twice the national average. This is due to most having joined straight out of high school, and therefore not obtaining a college degree, and/or translatable skills. With unemployment comes homelessness, which is a reason why veterans account for one third of the homeless population, according to Care 2. It’s depressing.

So depressing, in fact, that many returning veterans suffer from depression. Sadly many don’t have access to the help they need. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately twenty-two commit suicide a day. This is why this Veterans Day, you should take a moment to do more than just thank your veteran. Take a moment to let them know that they’re not alone.