Happy Veterans Day from Global Ozone! As a veteran-founded company, this day holds a special place for our team. This year, we want to shine a light on the distinct healthcare issues impacting veterans — and what you can do to support better care.
Find out which healthcare issues affect veterans the most and how you can advocate for more aid for our men and women in uniform.
Veterans’ Health Concerns
After returning home from deployment, veterans often need a higher level of care than your average civilian due to their high levels of risk and exposure to harmful chemicals and infectious diseases. Beyond that, structural issues in our society create barriers for veterans to receive the care they need and deserve.
The physical demands and risks of combat leaves many of our soldiers with physical disabilities upon their return home. Most commonly, we see veterans suffering from the effects of amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and musculoskeletal issues that require years of physical therapy and specialized medical care. While disabled veterans are entitled to care from the VA, many veterans in rural areas still struggle to access treatment.
Exposure to combat can also leave scars and wounds that we can’t see from the outside. Many of our veterans struggle with mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, the stigma around mental health prevents veterans from seeking the help they need. Mental health issues also contribute to high rates of substance abuse, suicide, and homelessness among veterans.
Our elderly veterans need just as much support as those who’ve just returned from deployment. As the veteran population ages, they will deal with chronic conditions, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, that require ongoing treatment. And we should expect to support more chronically ill veterans in the next few decades. In fact, research has shown that veterans experience higher rates of chronic illness due to increasingly physically demanding tours of duty.
Some of these conditions were caused by chemical agents that soldiers encountered while at war, including the now notorious herbicide, Agent Orange, which is responsible for killing over 300,000 Vietnam War veterans.
Now more than ever, soldiers are at higher risk for contracting infectious diseases, including emerging pathogens and antibiotic-resistant strains. When living stateside on base, the close quarters of barracks create an ideal environment for germs to quickly spread among soldiers. Once deployed (often to remote parts of the world), soldiers may encounter diseases due to limited public health infrastructures and contact with the population.
How can we support veterans’ healthcare?
While many of these large, structural issues seem too big for just one person to tackle, you can absolutely do your part to support veterans and their families.
Here are just a few ways you can show your gratitude and dedication to better healthcare for our heroes:
- Volunteer to drive veterans to appointments or to pick up prescriptions
- Pick up groceries or do household chores for a disabled veteran
- Donate much-needed supplies to the VA
- Advocate for policies that direct resources to veterans in need
- Fundraise for veterans’ organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project
- Provide direct support for the veterans and military families in your life
- Support mental health initiatives to eliminate stigma
One person’s efforts may not seem like much, but when we all work together, we can create meaningful change for the veterans in our communities.
Our Pledge to Protect Veterans
While our team is joining in these small efforts to improve care for healthcare for veterans, our company is aiming to root out one of these issues at the source — the increased risk of infection.
Global Ozone is proud to defend our military from the threat of infectious diseases. Our Decon Zone sanitizing systems allow soldiers to safely sanitize their tactical gear without compromising any of their protective features. We promise to continue our efforts to stomp out germs on military bases around the world, on Veterans Day and every day.
Want to learn more about Decon Zone? Reach out to us for more information.