May is Military Appreciation Month. Rich Woodruff and Micheal Viers from the Utah Red Cross joined Good Morning Utah to talk about what everyone can do to help those serving in the military.
“It’s important that everyone, not just mental health providers and employers, know about veterans issues,” said Steve Allen, coordinator of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) team at the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City. “We’ve essentially outsourced the war to a small proportion of folks. And we’ve essentially outsourced taking care of them to the VA,” Allen said during a session on PTSD. “Part of the message is it’s our responsibility as a community to help our service members reintegrat,” he continued.
The Veterans Administration states that one-third of adult homeless men and nearly one-quarter of all homeless adults have served in the armed forces. Currently, the Red Cross works to strengthen families’ capacity to cope with the unique demands of a military lifestyle. This is achieved through preparedness briefings; mental health, preparedness, health and safety courses;; and volunteer, networking and support opportunities-all delivered in local communities across the nation and on military installations around the globe.