Peter Mohan fought bravely in Iraq and then returned home to his wife. He had the happy homecoming, people slapped him on his back and praised his efforts fighting for his country. Then, began the tale of self destruction. He waited until his wife left for work and then spent the day drinking or driving his motorcycle in an aimless manner. Finally, his wife told him to leave. Peter Mohan never found a steady job, he lost his wife, his home, his friends left him and now he has nothing at the age of 28. He is homeless. How can American society allow such tales to unfold without taking preventive action? The history of past wars has taught us a certain percent of returning veterans will suffer from post traumatic stress, so why are there not programs available to avoid such things happening to veterans?
The Defense Department has identified about 1,500 veter ans who now fit into the category of being homeless as a result of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. People who study this phenonmenon predict there is a time gap between returning home and the onset of conditions which might result in the individual becoming homeless. It may take a year or several years before it happens. Although Vietnam war veterans displayed such symptoms, it took years before it was clear they were suffering, today, there are signs the process is occurring much earlier for veterans. Acccoding to John Driscoll of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, “Your trust in people is strained. You’ve been separated from loved ones and friends. The camaderie between troops is very intense and now you feel vulnerable.”
Most probably, these individals will disappear into the dustbin of history, forgotten and ignored as were veterans of previous wars. Society asks them to sacrifice, they do, and that is the end of the story.