- Veteran's Day is not Memorial Day. They are often confused.
- Memorial Day was established in 1868 to honor all those who gave their lives defending our country in military service.
- Veteran's Day was established as Armistice Day in 1911 by President Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the cessation of hostilities and the allied victory ending World War One.
- In 1954, President Eisenhower asked Congress to change the name to Veteran's Day to honor all veterans, living and dead, who served our country in the military.
- Today there are 18,592,457 veterans living in America who all need some assistance coping with the injuries they suffered, both physical and psychic, while serving in the military.
- The front line of defense for these veterans are the social workers at the VA and many community not-for-profit veteran's service agencies.
- The VA is the largest employer of social workers in the nation, totaling more than 18,000 strong.
Case Workers Supporting Veterans
More than 200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life each year. When a veteran transitions out of active duty, where does he go for help? A case worker, of course. Case workers are our veteran's point guards; the starting point for accessing services needed to cope with the wide array of injuries suffered in military service. Veterans’ diverse needs range from help with administrative functions to long-term clinical interventions.
Here are just some of the ways that VA social workers serve as veterans’ first line of defense:
- Assistance with access to care.
- Education and assistance with financial or housing resources.
- Linkage to resources from VA or community agencies.
- Education and application for benefits from the VA, Social Security, and other government and community programs.
- Assessment and implementation of treatment approaches which address needs related to social determinants of health.
- Facilitate veteran communication with inter-professional healthcare teams on goals of care discussions and advanced care planning.
- Education and linkage to resources offering support for caregivers.
- Providing case management.
- Providing counseling and other evidence based therapeutic interventions.
Without the help of a case worker, veterans often don't know where to begin their journey home.
An Army is Needed to Fight this War
- There are an estimated 14,873,966 disabled veterans, which is roughly 80% of the total veteran population.
- There are 67,496 homeless veterans.
- There are more than 1,000,000 veterans living in poverty.
These are appalling statistics that highlight the need for a huge army of veteran caseworkers. VA caseworkers not only work in the VA medical centers, clinics, and benefits offices but they also work in VA Vet Centers embedded in communities. They offer more easily accessible mental health support to Veterans and active service members including National Guard and Reserve components and their families.
Each year on Veteran's Day, we take the opportunity not only to remember and honor our veterans but also to remind fellow citizens of the support that veterans need when they get back from hell.
On this Veteran's Day we would like to extend sincere thanks to the 18,000 social workers who have truly not forgotten.
For additional help with resources for veterans please visit Veterans Guide. Their mission is to assist veterans with various issues they might face including disability compensation, financial assistance, information on the GI Bill and more. We are including the following calculators to help veterans calculate how much their VA rating should be:
VA Disability Calculator - veteransguide.org/va-disability-calculator/
VA Disability Appeals - veteransguide.org/va-disability/appeals/
Thank you to our friends at Veterans Guide for the information.