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Saturday, July 16, 2011

75,000 US veterans face homelessness

Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:0AM - presstv.com

Over 75,000 US military personnel face the predicament of homelessness after they return home from US-led wars abroad, feeling the burden of increased mental pressure.
According to data published by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of US veterans, homeless on any given night as of June this year, stands at a staggering 75,700, a Press TV correspondent reported Friday.

"It's a critical time; we have veterans that are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan that are potentially becoming homeless in higher numbers than they have in the past," said Anne Oliva, director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's homeless office.

Formerly deployed in military missions overseas, the veterans are finding it more difficult to find employment at home.

The unemployment rate among American young veterans stood at nearly 21 percent last year according to the US Labor Department.

"It's a national disgrace, the situation of returning soldiers and veterans. And it reflects the overall situation of the US economy, which is in a state of collapse and it's only going to get worse with all the budget cuts," said Edward Spannaus, Legal Affairs Editor.

"Young men and women join the army these days precisely because it's the only job they can get. The people tend to come from the poor layers of the society and overwhelmingly from the poor states in the country," he added.

Meanwhile, the detrimental psychological effects of war upon the combatants coupled with economy-driven plights have sounded alarms concerning the veterans' mental health.

A recent study has revealed that 300,000 American veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Critics say the US government has failed in its duty to ease the transition of the military lives of its war veterans into civilian lives.



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