The plight of U.S. veterans is generally unrecognized. Government support for veteran's physical and mental health borders on negligent.
The Government Accounting Office and others have published reports noting that federal programs, including hospitalization and psychological care for veterans, have been grossly inadequate. The toll has been high. Over
10,000 veterans have sued the VA for negligence in health care delivery over the last five years. More than one hundred thousand veterans of the Vietnam ware have committed suicide since the end of the war -- almost
twice the number actually killed in battle. This suicide rate is significantly higher than that for the general population. Additionally, 80% of the homeless in American's streets are men and nearly one-third of the
homeless men are Vietnam veterans. Moreover, 25% of the men in prison are veterans of the Vietnam conflict. It is clear that we have failed these men, to whom our society owes so much.
The MHN will network with the
major veteran support groups such as the American Legion and the smaller, more aggressive organizations such as Citizen Soldier to compile a comprehensive information brochure for veterans and to increase media
awareness of the needs of veterans. The brochure will serve as a guide to veterans describing which public and private organizations will provide them with the health care, psychological treatment, job placement and
other social services that they may need.