A recent report by the Canadian Press highlighted the great national tragedy that is our high number of homeless veterans.
Although, the reported 2,250 homeless veterans (representing just under three per cent of the total homeless population) may indeed be barely scratching the surface, given that it relied upon information from a survey of 60 shelters across the country last year. For comparison, the United States has almost 50,000 homeless veterans, accounting for nearly nine per cent of their national total.
The stress of their job, especially the thousands of brave men and women who served in combat in Afghanistan during our 13-year engagement, can make for a difficult transition back to civilian life once their time in the service is over.
Mental health issues, such as post traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism and drug addiction are unfortunately all too common amongst those who have seen action on the front line.
As well, homelessness is an equal opportunity affliction for former military members, with the number of female homeless veterans ten per cent higher than the national average.
There is a great deal of support across Canada to look after our veterans with the best possible care once they have completed their service to our country.
With a seemingly never-ending series of tax increases across all levels of government, this would be spending Canadians could actually get behind. And, if done effectively, could provide meaningful support to the thousands of veterans that are currently living on the streets.
No one with the courage to serve our country should be left out in the cold once they return home, and we should be demanding that all levels of government act quickly to ensure that we can break this cycle and give our veterans the type of care they so rightly deserve.
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