The rate of suicides among vets is 27 times higher than among current soldiers even though they are not exposed to combat any longer. But they are exposed to life, and alone.
For those that have never been in an army (or never been political prisoners) the army is like a huge support group. So was the political Presidio at a time when I was physically all banged up.
But when the soldiers are discharged, the rules change dramatically: They find themselves on their own, where despite the abundance of of yellow ribbons out there, there is a shortage of empathy, tangible support, and most importantly: No jobs for them.
Unemployment among vets is over 26%. Give them training. give them a job. Many veterans may not be very inclined to attend a conventional college after walking on the fields of Afghanistan or Iraq, always wondering which will be their last step. But we could set up, in conjunction with private industry, polytechnic schools where the returning soldiers may acquire trades.
And above all, we as a nation must think twice before entering war again. We just take it too lightly invading others. The war-mongering neo-cons should go in the front lines the next conflict.