Growing up an Army kid, I have a special place in my heart for the brave women and men who wear/wore our nation’s uniforms. Yes, we certainly treat returning veterans better than we did during the Vietnam War, but despite the work of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, we are not doing enough for military families and our soldiers, sailors, air wo/men and Marines after their service concludes.
Today, our Veterans Treatment Courts and homeless shelters are filled with a new generation of former service members. PTSD and the prolific self-medicating are as real today as they were 40 years ago. Veterans are coming back to the United States from oversee deployments to broken homes, debt and a society that has not prepared them for post-military life.
We can do better. They deserve better.
U.S. military service is a federal issue – but there are certainly things we can do in California to ensure that there’s a pipeline of state-sponsored services already waiting for them upon return. We must work with
Congress so that military service does not end until all service members have real world job training and ACTUAL career placement.
With creativity, smart planning and collaboration, we can address many problems at once. For example, California’s infrastructure is failing and who better to put to task of rebuilding it than those with project management skills, strength on so many levels, and unparalleled grit. It’s time we pay more than lip service to our gratitude. It’s time for us to come up with real solutions.