HOUSTON, TX - They put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, but the challenges facing our veterans continue back home.
Unemployment, PTSD, delays in receiving the health care they need means returning to civilian life can sometimes be troubling and take our veterans down the wrong path. According to new numbers, 10% of the inmates on death row are military veterans, many of whom suffer from mental disorders not treated in time.
"We're working with lots of different agencies through employment sometimes or directly through health care to get the veterans the attention they need; not just for them but for their families," said Carl Salazar, Director of Veteran Affairs for the City of Houston.
And the problems continue: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says there are nearly 50,000 homeless veterans around the country; and about 1.4 million are considered at risk due to poverty and lack of support networks. The good news is that Houston has been acknowledged as the largest city to put an end to veteran homelessness.
"It doesn't mean there might not be a homeless veteran out there," says Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "But it means that if we know about that homeless veteran we can place that homeless veteran in housing with wraparound social services."
Veterans Day is all about honoring our heroes, but we should be concerned about their well-being every day of the year.