Promising Statistics on Veteran Homelessness: Military Connection

Military Connection: homeless vets

By Debbie Gregory.

It may be hard for some to understand why, after serving their country so bravely, a good number of veterans come back, only to struggle with basic housing. The homeless veteran population appears to occur after every conflict, from World War II and Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq. One contributing factor is an extreme shortage of affordable housing compounded by many military occupations not translating to the civilian workforce. This increases the struggle for those needing specialized healthcare for PTSD, TBI, or mental health counseling.

With that said, statistics are changing. There are indications that there was a decline in the number of homeless veterans in January 2014 (49,933); 33 percent less than the statistics from 2010. The majority of homeless veterans still remain to be male, however, approximately eight percent are female.

It appears that 50 percent of homeless vets are between the ages of 18 and 50, with only 10 percent being younger vets under 31. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 40 percent are African American or Hispanic. This is significant in that ten percent of the entire veteran population is African American and four percent of all veterans are Hispanic.

Type of service also seems to factor in these statistics; approximately 33 percent of homeless veterans were stationed in a war zone. Twice that percentage served for at least three years. Compared to the American public, veterans are twice as likely to succumb to homelessness, and women veterans’ risk is four times greater than their male counterparts.

While strides are being made to reduce these statistics, poverty, difficulty obtaining support specific to their needs, and substandard housing remain the primary reasons that veteran homelessness still occurs. Among this population, some 40,000 individuals receive monthly compensation of some sort, but it’s simply not enough to cover U.S. basic living standards. Even more challenging is housing for those who have special needs, modifications that come at a higher cost. Without adequate support, upwards of two-thirds of homeless veterans have unaddressed substance abuse issues.

It is likely that homeless veterans need approximately six years to improve their situation, where as those who have never served appear to see improved opportunities in about four years.

Many who ask “why” might ask “how” – how can these statistics change? Rather than looking at the situation on a national level, the answer most likely rests with local support. Communities can assess what the needs are in their area, and build local support or coalitions. Perhaps there are already veteran service providers that need more funding or volunteers. It’s important to contact local officials who have a stronger voice in paving the way for improvements, support, and most importantly, hope.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Promising Statistics on Veteran Homelessness: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Bringing Shame on the Military: Military Connection

predator

By Debbie Gregory.

In two unrelated stories with a related theme, two members of the military have been court martialed for crimes against children.

Spc. Nicholas Marcum, a 28-year-old soldier who was stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska was sentenced to 20 years for raping a 15-year-old girl, according to a U.S. Army spokesperson. Marcum was convicted on one specification of “forcible rape of a child,” according to the Army. He will be confined at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the military’s only maximum-security correctional facility.

The rape occurred on Fort Wainwright in 2014. Marcum was a friend of the girl’s family, and was also accused of giving alcohol to the girl.

Naval officer and Top Gun graduate Lt. Daniel Chase Harris was sentenced to 50 years in prison on charges he coerced nine underage girls into sending him explicit photos and videos of themselves. A federal jury convicted Harris on 31 felonies, including 13 counts of production of child pornography and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Harris threatened a 14-year-old girl who sent him a topless selfie with public humiliation if she refused more explicit instructions. He was accused of similar threats to eight other girls in the U.S. and in Japan.

While awaiting trial, Harris used a false name to draft a letter claiming that he had been framed. While awaiting sentencing, he wrote to the Chinese Embassy offering to trade his military expertise for help in breaking out of jail.

According to court testimony and documents, Harris’ victims did not know him by name. He used aliases to pose as teenage boys and to flirt with the girls. Prosecutors argued he used aliases to contact the girls between 2011 and 2013 while he was stationed in Virginia Beach, Florida, South Carolina, Japan, Guam, and Fallon, Nev., which is home to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and Top Gun.

The youngest victim was 12 when she met Harris online in 2013.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Bringing Shame on the Military: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Calling All Nurses: Military Connection

Military Connection: nurse showing care to patient

By Debbie Gregory.

Now in its 2nd year, the VA Nursing Academic Partnerships (VANAP) is a collaboration between VA facilities and nursing schools.

Currently up and running in 25 locations nationwide, the program offers students a comprehensive clinical experience that focuses on Veteran care. The win-win partnership gives the student nurses intensive clinical training, while at the same time providing top-notch nurses to serve veterans.

RNs working alongside students relish in their temporary teaching roles, turning out nurses shaped specifically to address the unique needs of veterans. By the end of the 4-year program, graduates are fully accustomed to the culture and mission at VA.

Students nurses receive specialized training in mental health, traumatic brain injury care, home-based health care, palliative care, women’s health and homeless care.

Students selected to participate in VANAP will experience the honor and prestige of the VANAP affiliation and participation in a select student cohort. They will receive unique clinical experiences with significant time in residence in VA settings throughout the program.

The deep immersion in veteran‐centric topics will provide a unique focus on the specialized health care needs of veterans

VANAP scholars are eligible to compete for the VALOR program and the VA Post Baccalaureate Nurse Residency program.  Additionally, graduates from the VANAP program are highly valued for employment within the VA Health System.

Veteran-centric concepts are introduced throughout the curriculum. Conditions and issues unique to veterans are presented. All VANAP Nurse Scholars will have expanded opportunities that will enhance their clinical education.

The Veterans Health Administration is the largest employer of nurses. The VHA works diligently to ensure their nursing students have all the training and educational support necessary to maximize their potential for providing top quality care to veterans.

Student nurses are not required to have a military background to participate in the VANAP program.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Calling All Nurses: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory