President Obama’s October announcement that U.S. troops would return home from Iraq by the end of 2011 has everyone talking and wondering what this means—not only for veterans, but also for the organizations and services that provide training, education, healthcare, and other support for veterans.
As The Gothamist’s Alec Hamilton reports, “Returning veterans can face a wide variety of mental and physical health challenges, and may have unique needs resulting from their service…. Many veterans are returning with the less visible wounds of mental trauma, wounds which can be devastating for the individual as well as their families and communities.” His October article explores whether our region is prepared to help the over 1.3 million veterans in the greater New York City region. Adding Long Island to that mix dramatically increases the numbers of veterans in our region.
In addition to physical and mental health needs, returning veterans will look to join the work force, or return to school. A post on The Hill’s healthcare blog reported that the White House “issued a challenge to community health centers to hire 8,000 veterans… over the next three years. And it said physician assistant programs that help train veterans would get priority grant funding.” That same post noted that the “jobless rate for veterans was 8.7 percent last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding up to more than 200,000 people.”
So the question remains: Are we prepared to meet the healthcare, training, and education needs of our region’s veterans?
As a recognized Yellow Ribbon school, Adelphi University has a long-standing commitment to our region’s veterans. Adelphi was transformed in the 1940s when the University welcomed WWII veterans to campus. Today, our university president is a veteran and an advocate for the new G.I. Bill, a past board chairman is a veteran, and we have a strong alumni veterans network.
Adelphi remains dedicated to addressing the needs of all veterans through relevant academic programs, as well as training and professional development opportunities for clinicians and practitioners who work with veterans. This fall, Adelphi’s Hudson Valley Center offered a social work conference dedicated to working with veterans, and will continue to explore the questions raised by participants.
If you are a veteran looking to start or continue your education, visit our Veterans and Military Personnel Admissions site for more information.