Veterans Action Network President Dan Curran Comments on Issues Affecting Veterans
Veterans Action Network President Dan Curran sat down for a recent interview to discuss how various different issues are affecting Veterans.
Veterans Action Network recently did a blog regarding VA nursing home issues in the United States. We asked Curran whether he felt these issues could be resolved in 2019 since they have been bad for so long.
“I don’t believe this, or any VA-related issue can be solved in a single year,” said Curran. “Veterans Affairs has systemic issues and a history of failure and inept leadership. VA Secretary Wilkie has spoken at length of modernizing the VA’s operations and strategy, but there is no quick-fix for the ongoing issues.”
Reports show that suicide is high among veterans. Curran gave his opinion on what needs to happen in order for that rate to drop.
“The unique operating environment and prolonged wars around the globe continue to be a challenge for Veterans returning home,” said Curran. “The stressors associated with reacclimating to civilian life, economic challenges, and finding the best way to reintegrate can really be destructive to a person’s morale and self worth. One of the best things we can do is ensure that returning veterans are aware of the programs available to them to find fulfilling work and make the transition as smooth as possible. We also need to continue to be vigilant even after Servicemen and women reintegrate. Suicide is a complex issue and we need, as a society, to look out for our brothers and sisters in the profession of arms and be aware of any warning signs. Suicide is avoidable 100% of the time if the warning signs are noticed and action is taken to protect and save lives.”
Curran also believes we need to continue to strive to remove the stigma surrounding mental health care.
“The military has been integrating mental health care more and more into required training and post-deployment activities, but there remains an underlying “machismo” in the branches that stigmatize asking for help as being ‘weak,’” said Curran. “We need to make it evident that realizing there may be a problem and seeking help to rectify it is actually an act of strength and try and remove the stigma.”