This might be really stupid but how old is Frank? My brain is not sure if I should picture him as a 70 year old or like 30? I don't understand anything about USA veterans?
Not a stupid question at all! I know a lot of people assume that Frank is a veteran of the Vietnam War, but he’s actually 28. He joined up when he was 18 and served in Iraq.
The Vietnam War has such a strong hold on our public psyche when it comes to PTSD and government mishandling of returning soldiers. But homelessness and mental illness are still a huge problems in returning military today.
Here are some stats about homeless vets in the US (main source):
- The majority are male (about 9% are female)
- 45% of all homeless vets are African American or Hispanic
- 50% are under the age of 51
- 50% have serious mental illness
- As of 2012, homelessness was increasing in returning vets from Afghanistan and Iraq, even though homelessness in vets was decreasing overall (x)
- PTSD affects 20% of soldiers who served in Iraq (x)
- This especially affects young vets because they don’t know how to transfer military experience to civilian careers (x)
- The majority are single (most programs that assist the homeless are targeted towards families with children)
- Homelessness affects vets for an average of 6 years, which is two years longer than the average for homeless non-vets (x)