LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new survey released by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) group shows most veterans don’t feel they have received adequate support after returning to civilian life.
Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Kristine Hesse, who served in the military for 24 years, today works on women’s outreach for the National Veterans Foundation. She says that, while she is proud of her service, too many of her fellow veterans are simply not getting the support they need.
“I loved my time in the service, I was in forever and I would do it all over again,” Sgt. Hesse said. “I think I have one test that’s scheduled for January, and I made it two weeks ago. It’s not always like that. It’s hit or miss.”
Of particular issue is the lack of benefits veterans say they were promised.
The DAV survey shows that, while 79 percent of veterans are glad they served, only 44 percent believe they have received the benefits they had been promised. When it comes to disabled veterans, only one-in-five believe they have received their necessary benefits.
The survey further found that 37 percent of post-9/11 veterans feel their service has had a negative effect on their physical health.
Sgt. Hesse believes that number is due to the stress and strain of multiple deployments, coupled with not having enough resources to help with the transition upon returning home.
Along with the number of deployments, the number of female veterans has also increased. The study found that over half of female veterans feel they do not get the same amount of respect as their male counterparts. However, only 34 percent of men in the survey shared that belief.
Veterans say that, while the issues with post-service support are large, the public can start by simply asking veterans how they can support them.