What Society Can Do To Help Military Veterans

The end goal for military veterans isn’t just to return from deployment but to return to a home that actively supports them. In our collective post-service mission, where each institution and individual plays a critical role, society at large can rally to ensure veterans receive the gratitude and assistance they deserve. Here’s what society can do to help military veterans and ease their transition back into civilian life.

Understanding the Context: Beyond the Uniform

Before we tackle solutions, we must understand the challenges veterans face. People often paint the narrative of the returning serviceperson in broad strokes of honor and heroism. While these are valid, the nuances of reintegration remain untold. Unfortunately, the transition from active duty to civilian life is complex, with potential physical and psychological obstacles. Accepting that we need a more nuanced understanding of the veteran experience is the first step in reevaluating our societal role.

Education: The Salute Doesn’t End at Homecoming

One of society’s most potent tools in supporting veterans is education. This extends from awareness campaigns for civilians to specialized training for professionals. For the non-military populace, understanding the issues that veterans may grapple with is a starting point. Academic institutions can offer veterans tailored counseling and resources, employers can have veteran-focused HR teams, and health-care providers can structure care with an eye to military service history.

What Society Can Do To Help Military Veterans
Photo By: Bumble Dee

Career Development: Creating a Veteran-Friendly Workplace

Employment is a pillar of successful reintegration for veterans. Initiatives need to be two-pronged. For veterans, focus on transitioning skills. For employers, create programs to make workplace environments more accommodating. Many veterans have highly specialized skills that, with thoughtful retooling, could translate into the civilian job market. By employing practical techniques for hiring and retaining military veterans, businesses can adapt their workforce to the needs of these individuals.

Better Care: Bridging the Civil-Military Health-Care Gap

People often laud the military health-care system for its quality and comprehensiveness. However, the transition to civilian health care can be stark and challenging. Civilian health-care providers need better integration with veteran support services so that a veteran seeking mental or physical health support receives understanding and empathy. Collaboration between VA hospitals, private health-care facilities, and community resources can fill these critical gaps.

Fulfilling Our Collective Duty in Post-Service Support

The debt we owe our veterans signifies a responsibility and a call to action, not a passive acknowledgment. Military veterans returning to our cities, towns, and neighborhoods deserve a society that can help with their mental and physical needs. By educating ourselves, designing veteran-friendly systems, providing legal advocacy, and weaving a robust support network, we can live up to our words and honor the service of those who have defended us.

Christina Duron
Christina Duron is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things digital. She has focused her career around digital marketing and writes to explore topics that spark her interest.