After the Uniform 2013: Facing the Invisible Wounds of War

  • 67,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in this country and twice that many over the course of a year
  • Each and every day, 22 veterans commit suicide
  • Afraid of repercussions, female veterans aren’t always reporting military sexual assaults
The issues facing our veterans are daunting but as discussed during our “After the Uniform: Facing the Invisible Wounds of War” panel, many nonprofits, government agencies and concerned individuals are working to alleviate and end these issues.
On June 18th, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., an engaging discussion with some of nation’s top leaders working to find solutions to the problems facing America’s returning veterans, including: PTSD, military sexual trauma, addiction and other barriers to building strong civilian lives; was held and attended by U.S. Representatives.

Generously sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation, the event was the second part of a three-year conversation Volunteers of America is conducting to raise awareness of the needs of veterans and what they need when they return stateside. A tremendous partner to Volunteers of America during the past year and providing generous funding to help us to build homes for hundreds of veterans across the country, The Home Depot Foundation has shown a great commitment to veterans.

Moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, the discussion included Kelly Caffarelli, President, The Home Depot Foundation; Koby Langley, Senior Advisor, Corporation for National and Community Service; Richard Lugar, Former U.S. Senator (R-Ind.); and Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Executive VP, Military Communities & Chief Medical Office, Volunteers of America.

Before joining us at our “After the Uniform: Facing the Invisible Wounds of War” panel discussion, Representative Phil Roe (R) Tennessee and Representative Tim Walz (D) Minnesota, both members of the Invisible Wounds Caucus and the House Veteran’s Affairs committee, joined Fox 5 News in Washington D.C. to talk about what can be done to help alleviate PTSD and TBI, which many veterans suffer from silently. “Last year, we lost more active duty military to suicide than we did in combat. It’s unbelievable,” said Rep. Phil Roe.

Volunteers of America has served America’s veterans since before World War I and we currently serve almost 2.5 million clients, including more than 10,000 veterans plus their family members in programs specifically geared to their needs and many more live in our affordable housing. This is just a fraction of the approximately 145,000 veterans estimated by the VA in recent years to have experienced homelessness at least one night out of the year. Our support helps veterans overcome the barriers that stand between them and a stable, secure life. Many of our programs include treatment for PTSD, mental illness and addictions. We make sure veterans connect to the benefits to which they are entitled, and we make use of the strong bonds forged between veterans by incorporating mentoring and peer-to-peer support.

View a recording of the recent panel discussion below and mark your calendars for the next “After the Uniform” discussion, which will be held on May 13, 2014, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and will focus on the unique needs of the expanding number of women veterans, including the growing national focus on military sexual trauma.