According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), nearly 200,000 American Veterans are homeless on any given night (Rieckhoff). NCHV - the resource and technical assistance center - reported that the number of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) - (OEF) veterans are becoming homeless much more quickly than Vietnam veterans. As the war in Iraq and Afghanistan continues the number of homeless veterans increases. The next generation of American Veterans is on its way home, and tens of thousands more will return from combat over the years to come. Upon returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan thousands of veterans are facing a new nightmare, the risk of homelessness.
Veterans of the Iraq
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The mental issues may include but are not limited to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a mental wound, anxiety or physical brain damage that may have been caused by a roadside bomb. Several of them simply do not have enough money to afford a house or apartment because of minimal income due to unemployment. Some are unable to cope with life and find readjusting to civilian life very challenging. There are others that are simply too proud to ask for help.
The military acknowledges that there is a problem with the growing number of OEF/ OIF veterans that return from war who are at risk of becoming homeless. Service members separating from the Armed Forces receive opportunities to learn about benefits for which they may be eligible. Prior to separation counseling is available through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). This program was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job search assistance and other related services. A program that derived from the TAP program is known as the Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS). This program gives employment and training information to armed forces members within 180 days after separation or retirement. Every VA Medical Center has an OEF/OIF Care Management Team ready to welcome