Today is Veterans Day, and according to wallethub.com
and the Veterans Association, there are
currently over 19 million veterans who live in the United States.
Unfortunately, many veterans face dire challenges upon returning to civilian
life, such as difficulties with housing, healthcare, education, and employment.
The rise in unemployment and homelessness has only increased, with state
conditions and environments for veterans varying by city and location. A recent
100-city study performed by finance website WalletHub has determined the best
and worst cities for veterans to live, ranking Baton Rouge number 98 on this
list and therefore among the worst cities in America for veterans.
WalletHub conducted their study by comparing 100 of the largest cities with determining indicators for veterans, such as each location's affordability, livability, and veteran friendliness. WalletHub's study examined other key factors in the various cities, comparing city employment, the city's economy, quality of life, and their veteran health facilities. They also accessed military skilled and related jobs in the city's area, along with possible income growth for veterans and available veteran health organizations. The study showcased Baton Rouge as a city of low income growth for veterans, high veteran unemployment rates, and a high percentage of veteran poverty.
How can cities work towards combatting veteran-care
challenges? What reform must be done to better serve those who have served the
country? According to Blas Villalobos, Chapman University's Director of
Veterans Affairs, the lack of affordable housing, poverty, and accessible
healthcare access must be addressed to assist homeless veterans and the veteran
community. Villalobos stated coordinated efforts, partnerships, government
funding, and community programs emphasizing veteran care have and can further assist
housing funds and homeless or at-risk veterans.
According to Lifeline for Vets, there are many ways to support and show gratitude for veterans throughout various communities. Individuals can donate time and effort to veteran organizations, visit wounded veterans at nearby veteran facilities, help to fight homeless and evictions by volunteering with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and provide food through organizations such as Feed Our Vets. To better the outcome of veteran studies like WalletHub's, it is important to first better the lives of veterans and provide support for veterans within the community.