Of the more than 1.7 million veterans of combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan, most are between 20-29 years old, according to the United States Department of Defense. Veterans who return from service face a number of challenges when attempting to resume their daily lives and reintegrate back into society. These may range from mental health issues, physical injuries, difficulty finding out what benefits they are entitled to, long waits to receive benefits they’ve earned, as well as many of the issues facing all young Americans like employment, debt, and education.
Additionally, when many of us think of “veterans” we think of older people from wars past that we saw in parades growing up, but the reality is there are hundreds of thousands of veterans in their 20’s. We need to put a new face on veterans and help elevate the issues our peers are facing after having returned from the war.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
MTV worked with veterans’ groups across the country to identify priority actions that Elected Officials must take to help veterans returning from service. To mobilize support, BRAVE was created, The Bill of Rights for America’s Veterans.
By signing this petition to support BRAVE, individuals are demanding that our Elected Officials make BRAVE a reality. Our troops have fought for us, now it’s our turn to fight for them! You are asking Elected Officials to do the following:
Properly treat veterans’ mental health issues:
Every troop gets face-to-face screening from a mental health professional prior to deployment and within the first six (6) months of returning home from war.
Prevent homelessness among veterans:
Prevent young veterans and their families from falling into homelessness by creating 20,000 more permanent supportive housing units for very low-income veterans by December 31, 2009.
Give disabled veterans the benefits they have earned:
The number of troops with physical, psychological, and neurological wounds waiting for their benefits should be cut in half by December 31, 2009.
Fully fund our veterans’ hospitals:
Veterans’ hospitals should be fully funded for the 2010 fiscal year by September 20, 2009.
Compensate troops made to serve longer:
Troops on Stop Loss orders should receive an additional $1,500 / month in pay.