Veteran soldiers have been sidelined for a long term when it comes to comprehensive health care coverage, especially in terms of access to affordable healthcare. It is important to note that these individual’s health care needs may not be the same as those of an average person. A military official has to deal with several aspects of life from which the civilian often is exempted. One of the greatest challenges that the military officers face is to do with the transition from civilian life to the military lifestyle and importantly, the shift from military service back to the ordinary citizen’s life. These two aspects present a paradigm shift that can prove to be too much. At this point, it is important to note that the officer is often faced by several ignored conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Previously, the Department of Defense has not had robust plans and programs for taking care of these individuals. The soldiers were released from service minus counseling on how to fit back into society.
Keywords: veteran soldiers, health services
Mental Health Access for Veterans (Public Health)
This paper shall focus on the delivery of health services to the veterans in terms of accessibility, insurance cover, access to service providers, and the timeliness within which the healthcare services are accorded to the officials. Veteran military officials are individuals who have seen and experienced the battles field first hand. The experience is often grueling and has a lifelong impact on the individual. Additionally, the military regime alone I drastically distinct from the ordinary civilian life to the point that it tends to shape the military officials in ways that are often permanent. The worst part of this scenario often arose when the time came for the officials to be released to the general public. It is at this point that matters go awry for some soldiers. Some have severe episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder, others find it tough to solve matters without the use of a gun. There are those who find the apparent indiscipline in society unbearable, a vast majority have no idea what types of jobs are available to them after retirement and till recently, most of them have no place to find help while dealing with these matters. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the veterans tend to be hit by this realization and factors at ago, often when they are unable to process it all at ago. It is based on this rationale that the department of defense has invested in programs such as veteran’s aid. This paper is organised into the following sections; the abstract highlights the pertinent research on the paper, the introduction elaborates on the content of the paper and its outline, the discussion deals with the subject matter, initiatives, recommendations, conclusion summarizes the paper and gives a stand on them, matter from the author’s perspective.
Gap in Health Care Provision
The gap in the healthcare provision for returns lies in the area of lack of psychological and mental counseling regarding integration into the society. Often, soldiers have released from service just like any other employee, which has resulted in difficulties in adapting to the society. When the military officer wants to get help, they have to scramble for a spot in the public and private hospitals, which some cannot afford easily. Additionally, it has been argued that fighting for services such as healthcare should not be the case for the veterans, out of respect and appreciation. This prevents the department of defense with plenty of room to come up with means and programs designed to help the ex-military officers in their quest to get help.
A successful transition is very challenging, in large part to the distance between military and civilian cultures (Pease et al., 2016). The United States military is setting our veterans up for success on their way into civilian life. Military service can be difficult and strenuous on the individuals involved. The various healthcare delivery systems initiated to address are as follows: Programs Pre-Separation, and Programs Post-separation via Veteran Affairs (VA). The former helps the soldier assimilate into the society counseling them before severing from the service into the society. This is important in helping the individual establish contact with the reality, thus finding it much easier to fit in. It often takes the form of a checklist that is accompanied by the DD Form 2648 or 2648-1 that is given to soldier prior to leaving active service. This is a government effort that seeks to help the soldier come to terms with what they may see and experience in civilian life in contradistinction to military life and is a mandatory exercise by the department of defense (Smith-Osborne, 2009). Its goals are to expose the soldier a large array of employment opportunity and resources to be competitive in the job market. The latter is designed to help the soldier after leaving service, as it ensures a number of things such as managing member’s health care and disability benefits. Additionally, the VA has educational benefits including help paying for tuition, picking out a school, career counseling among a multitude of benefits. The Veteran Affairs has teamed up with the Department of Labor to give veterans career advice, help building a resume, and access to business who are keen on hiring veterans (Smith-Osborne, 2009).
Adequacy of Existing Initiatives
At this juncture, it is important to note that there is no guarantee of a perfect transition into the civilian world from the military. However, there is no perfect transition between two civilian jobs. Each aspect and context has its issues and challenges that must be considered. From this perspective, the effective healthcare delivery system for the sake of veteran’s health is likely to have challenges; however, the department of defense can continually improve it so that it helps and enhances the veteran’s health each time (Pease et al., 2016). The resources required to facilitate the delivery of these services take the form of financial commitment and government goodwill.
The legislation aimed towards this takes the form of H.R.1367 and VA Accountability First Act of 2017 among others, which largely are centred on empowering the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to hire and retain doctors and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes (Congress, n.d.).
Legislations Addressed at the Federal Level
These legislations are initiated and maintained at the federal level. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may delegate their duties but the mandate of these laws is largely retained at the federal level since department of justice is largely anchored in the federal government.
Taking care of veterans is relatively new concept that has been emphasized by the department of defense in the recent years as a sign of gratitude and responsibility. The pace at which the regulations and the department have taken up the matter with is impressive as it has seen the veterans get access to mental institution tuned to their needs and experience a level of appreciation that is entitled to them. The initiatives in place for the veterans are distinct from other initiatives to fill such gaps due to the fact that they are directed towards a target group and are deliberately aimed at helping the veterans simply based on their status as a sign of gratitude. However, this raises potential conflicts of interest where the government is seen as overly protective of the veterans at the expense of the citizens; eventually, they have been in service to the country through the military. Regardless of the scenarios that surround the issue, veteran affair programs are an essential part of the transition period from military to civilian, which is helpful for the entire society.
Congress. (n.d.). Committee ativity. https://www.congress.gov/committee/senate-veterans-affairs/ssva00
Pease, J. L., Billera, M., & Gerard, G. (2016). Military culture and the transition to civilian life: Suicide risk and other considerations. Social Work, 61(1), 83-86. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swv050
Smith‐Osborne, A. (2009). Veterans return to civilian life: A review of the factors associated with a resilient outcome and how social workers can prepare to help. Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 12(1), 61-71. http://www.profdevjournal.org/articles/121061.pdf