Homeless Heroes (2014): They’re heroes to many in the US, but after the jubilant homecoming parades for those returning from war, what happens next? Well, an estimated 55,000 veterans are now homeless; and that’s just the women.
For similar stories, see:
US Veterans Die From Painkiller Overdoses At Twice The National Rate
The Dogs who Care for Wounded Veterans
The Psychological Trauma of Life on the Front Line (2009)
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“In Iraq I was on suicide watch”, explains Tracy Orona, a veteran of the Iraq war. Coming home she went from suicide watch to fending for herself. Without treatment her disturbing dreams, insomnia and inability to handle normal life drove her to drink two bottles of tequila a day and ruined her marriage. Her story reflects those of countless other veterans living on the streets, in cars and on other people’s couches. “They don’t want to go to a shelter. They want to be in a female veteran program. They need counseling”, stresses Joe Leal from the organisation Vet Hunters. The most frightening aspect of this story is why they need counselling. As psychologist Dr Lori Katz explains, “The number one reason why female veterans are homeless is because of untreated sexual trauma.” As many as three quarters of them say they were sexually assaulted in the military, leaving them unable to return to normal life and ultimately homeless. So why have they been forced to swap one battle abroad for another one in the country they served?
SBS Australia – Ref. 5986
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