Friday, July 19, 2019

Reintegration into US Society Proves Challenging for Latino Veterans

A high percentage of Latino veterans face additional difficulties reintegrating into US society after being at war.

The US has seen its newest veterans filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, while experts and statistics show that this may be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops. And Latinos are dealing with additional pressures such as lower levels of education upon their return.

Though there is no conclusive evidence to explain the occurrence of this trend, factors such as the economy, the time it takes to process disability claims, education, and injuries, both physical and emotional have been named.

“[Soldiers]’re being kept alive at unprecedented rates,” says David Cifu, Acting National Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Veteran Affairs. “More than 95% of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have survived.”

Education has been named as a factor affecting Latino veterans the most, with Latinos who enlist to serve in the military having ended their education with a GED, which makes finding work more difficult.

Xiomara A. Sosa, Executive Director and Founder of You are Strong!, has created a new initiative to address what she sees as a gap that needs to be closed concerning meeting the needs of Latino veterans. Her initiative is part of The National Hispanic Veterans Advocacy Group, which is an online advocacy site dedicated to fighting the negative stigma associated with seeking help for mental or physical issues or basic welfare and essential quality of life services for military veterans.

“There is such a huge need for culturally competent advocacy related to Hispanic veterans and there is currently no organized group for such an important initiative,” says Sosa.

Latina Lista

USA Today