The Care For Our Veteran Service Men And Women Has Been Inadequate Since The Founding Of Our Nation

1914 Words 8 Pages
The care for our veteran service men and women has been inadequate since the founding of our nation. The intent of this section is to provide an over view on the history of the military and the policies that have affected our veterans. Additionally, I will address the gaps in current mental and healthcare policies affecting veterans today.
Historical Policies
The United States of America, officially became a country on July 04, 1776. However, the U.S. Army, previously known as the “Continental Army”, was established on June 14, 1775, almost thirteen months before the country was formed. In 1789, with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Congress assumed the responsibility of paying veterans pensions (based on rank), by passing the first federal pension legislation. Prior to the ratification, individual states were responsible for their veterans. It wasn’t until the War of 1812, that Congress authorized half-pay pensions to the veterans’ widow and children until they reached the age of 16 (Veterans Administration, 2005). However, mental health and the continued physical care for wounded veterans did not become the responsibility of the government until the 1860’s, when the country was divided by the Civil War. Over 700,000 soldiers lost their lives and over 1 million were critically wounded during the Civil War (Baird, 2012). Furthermore, when the war ended in May of 1865, there were 2,000,000 Union veterans and over a million Confederates veterans (Baird, 2012).…

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