Veterans Campaign

Key Challenges Facing Our Returning Veterans

  • Finding employment — 20 percent of veterans aged 18 to 24 are unemployed and female veterans face an even higher risk of unemployment; 
  • Dealing with feelings of isolation and disconnectedness with loved ones and others after having been part of a close team; 
  • Restoring their physical and mental health — 45 percent of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have sought disability benefits; 
  • Coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or major depression that are prevalent among post 9/11 veterans — every 65 minutes, a U.S. military veteran commits suicide; 
  • Navigating the complex and confusing network of benefits, services, and support (including educational) that is available to veterans — and then waiting four months to a year to have such benefits start; and 
  • Dealing with housing and financial instability, especially while attending college and/or supporting families; female veterans have a higher rate of homelessness than their male counterparts.

Jean Hernandez

“It is imperative that we come together as a community to provide a strong support network and ease the transition of returning veterans and their families. The lifelong impact and personal transformation that can occur through higher education cannot be overstated. Current college services and programming must be retooled and strengthened to meet the unique and individual needs of this growing student population.” 

Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College

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