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Sociology Essay Example: Veterans and Poverty in the U.S

5 pages
1145 words
George Washington University
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Poverty and homelessness among U.S veterans has become a serious concern. About 96% of veterans are single male veterans among the disadvantaged communities (Dohrenwend, et al. 2006). Besides, most of these veterans have served in various wars including Vietnam. Panama, World War II, Lebanon, among other wars. Most veterans generally spend more their income resulting in poor standards of living. Besides, the poverty rates of U.S disabled veterans is generally higher than those non-disable veterans regardless of the age groups (Dohrenwend, et al. 2006). Additionally, veteran poverty is an issue that none should imagine, however, this is sad reality for most of the veterans. Most of the veterans sacrifice their freedoms and youthful life just to make sure the country is safe and secure. It is a sad reality that these veterans eventually end up living a miserable life. The paper examines the concept of poverty among the veterans in the U.S population.

The veteran poverty is often experienced at hospitals when they visit the hospitals where the failure of both the government and society in acknowledging the living conditions of these heroes and heroines. Their state of illnesses some of which are chronic or terminal with no financial support to meet some medications and basic needs tells the whole story of a poverty stricken men and women of integrity (Washington, et al 2010). Even though veterans have lower rates of poverty than other Americans, surveys shown that about 6.9% of veterans are living below poverty lines as compared to approximately 14.4% of the normal Americans. Nonetheless, the fact that about one and a half million live in poverty across the U.S is disgraceful. Additionally, there is rise in the number of female veterans. For instance, it was reported that about 160 female veterans from Afghanistan and Iran wars while about 1700 female veterans some of which are homeless and at risk of living below the poverty line due to lack of support and ineffective incomes.

It has been shown that veteran Americans have over 50% chances experiencing homeless compared to other Americans. The primary cause of the reprehensible state of the veterans has been associated with the substandard housing or overcrowded houses, lack of support networks and dismal living conditions as a result of poverty. Besides, lack of enough income and increasing expenses associated with ill health are among the factors leading to homelessness and consequently poverty. Besides, it has been shown that the greatest risk factors leading to homelessness and consequently poverty are social isolation and neglect or inadequate support following hospital discharge (London, Heflin, & Wilmoth, 2011). Currently about 20% of veterans live alone due to divorces and lack of marriages. Since social networking is essentially for those that require immediate or temporary assistance, absence of this social networking occasioned by loneliness may lead to homelessness and consequently low quality life.

Based on Maslows hierarchy of needs, the humans including all employees including veterans should be motivated and made to feel appreciated and valued. The veterans thus should have access to basic needs and be motivated to live a better life since they are considered heroes and heroines who fought to protect the country and worst should be homeless or live under poverty lines. Based on Maslows theory, the veterans should feel have access to physiological needs including food, water, sleep or housing, sex or marriage before other needs like safety, love or belonging, esteem, and self-actualization are met (Noltemeyer, et al. 2012).

The type of poverty experienced by veterans is relative poverty in which the vets and their families have insufficient income to meet the average societys standard of living. Most veterans depend on state donations and funding each month since a majority of them are jobless. This results in relative poverty as they are unable to have proper housing, quality life and inadequate finance o meet other basic needs. Despite the post-traumatic stress disorders, and general health concerns among others, they still face greater risk factors of cognitive lags, acute and chronic stressors, further health and safety issues, and social and emotional challenges.

There are several ways in which the veterans rate of homelessness and poverty among them can be reduced. The U.S government has set aside health facility programs to support the veterans for free in order to ensure no veteran is burdened with medical bills on illnesses or diseases acquired at work or may have been afflicted due earlier conditions acquired while on the line of duty (Washington, et al. 2010). Besides, the government provides monthly income to the veterans though it may not be sufficiently enough to solve their finical issues. Additionally, various organizations provide donations and funding to veteran kitty for their use and also organize for counselling and mental health assistance to assist those affected into their previous states of mind in order to make them get new jobs. Moreover, there is need to provide homes or housing since more than half of what they receive solve renting burden. Also, some organizations employee the veterans to enable them get a reasonable living (Fargo, et al. 2012). Additionally, provision of education, recreational, and employment by all U.S states would be effective in trying to minimize or solve the veteran homeless and poverty issues. The concept of veteran poverty is a macro concept that encompasses a wide variety of aspects including the general view of poverty, causes, effects, and solutions as well the association between the poverty and other contemporary issues and theories.

The veteran and poverty concept is applicable in Florida since the plight of veterans is spread across the entire U.S. Besides, this topic is applicable because there are many veterans in Florida State with about 7.4% living in poverty. Additionally, it has been established that the rate of veteran homelessness is rampant with many disabled veterans the worst hit among them. There are several benefits offered by the State of Florida including employment, education, recreational, housing, and financial benefits. The financial benefits include basic property tax exceptions, and homestead exceptions among others.



Dohrenwend, B. P., Turner, J. B., Turse, N. A., Adams, B. G., Koenen, K. C., & Marshall, R. (2006). The psychological risks of Vietnam for US veterans: a revisit with new data and methods. Science, 313(5789), 979-982.

Fargo, J., Metraux, S., Byrne, T., Munley, E., Montgomery, A. E., Jones, H., ... & Culhane, D. (2012). Prevalence and risk of homelessness among US veterans. Preventing Chronic Disease, 9.

London, A. S., Heflin, C. M., & Wilmoth, J. M. (2011). Work-related disability, veteran status, and poverty: Implications for family well-being. Journal of Poverty, 15(3), 330-349.

Noltemeyer, A., Bush, K., Patton, J., & Bergen, D. (2012). The relationship among deficiency needs and growth needs: An empirical investigation of Maslow's theory. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(9), 1862-1867.

Washington, D. L., Yano, E. M., McGuire, J., Hines, V., Lee, M., & Gelberg, L. (2010). Risk factors for homelessness among women veterans. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 21(1), 82-91.


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