Do you believe all U.S. war veterans should receive a set minimum number of hours of counseling after leaving the service?

No. As a veteran I recall getting the opportunity to talk to any type of doctor when I was discharged. I was given a discharge physical and was offered a chance to speak to a chaplin and I don’t recall if a psychological examine was offered, but I would have refused. My recollection is that the GI’s in my era were all but focused on getting home as a civilian from Vietnam and not dealing with any more military bureaucracy. In this era the Veterans Hospital has more evaluations for PTSD than ever in the history of the military and let veterans that this service is available. I don’t know if having any number of counseling hours would change anything. Getting discharged is a treasured moment, and in my thinking no one on the brink of discharge is going to do anything to keep that from happening. • No, I just don’t trust the government to be able to put in place a program to truly help the military vets. I do think more emphasis should be placed on screening and following up with current military as well as those leaving who are showing signs of post traumatic disorder and/or have suffered injuries which might effect their mental stability. Our current tragedy would not have been diverted by counseling upon departure! • Yes. I suspect in most instances it would be welcomed. • Absolutely! And, I believe there should be follow up every 6 to 12 months. • Yes. They should receive counseling and support during their tours as well. We need to be vigilant that our service men and women get any help they need all along the way. • I don’t believe it should be MANDATORY for the men and women to go through counseling AFTER their term is over. I believe that it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to have them go through counseling regularly while they are IN the armed forces not just after they’ve been on a deployment. • Yes, with follow up if there are questionable behaviors or attitudes. • Counseling for sure, but I think each soldier’s requirements for time incounseling will be different. The armed services needs a way to gauge how much is enough, economically, but the soldiers need sufficient counseling to re-integrate successfully. • Yes, and there should be a schedule of follow-up visits for one year that are mandatory to complete the discharge process. • There should definitely be mandatory psychological screening during the discharge process. Seems to me that I’ve read that all troops in combat zones receive counseling, but if screening reveals need for more it should be given. Maybe follow up contacts through Veterans Affairs is in order after discharge. Many of these soldiers are reserves and could be offered/given counseling services as a regular part of that program. • Absolutely. They have so many potential needs. Financial hurdles. Re-integration with family. Employment challenges. Physical injuries that lead to mental stress. Guilt from returning while others did not. The list of needs is long. • Certainly for those returning from a tour of duty in a war zone.

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