September 15, 2010

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are returning to homes in Multnomah County this spring, making the difficult transition from combat zone to civilian life and in many cases struggling with mental, financial and family issues.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners today adopted a proclamation Oregon National Guard (395 bytes) paying respects to returning Oregon National Guard members and calling on citizens to educate themselves about the challenges these veterans face.

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are returning to homes in Multnomah County this spring, making the difficult transition from combat zone to civilian life and in many cases struggling with mental, financial and family issues.

The time between when these approximately 445 soldiers leave combat zones and arrive home is only about 10 days, making for an abrupt and jarring change in environment. Some of these soldiers are returning to stress in their relationships and families and unemployment; others are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma. Still others are returning from their second or third deployment, compounding the abovementioned problems and increasing their risk of family conflict, violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, and suicide.

There are resources available to help veterans with these issues, and 80 percent of them do successfully reintegrate into the community. Veterans are often reluctant to ask for help, though, so the public—particularly members of the public in contact with vets—must be more aware of the challenges veterans face and the services available to them. Multnomah County’s Veterans’ Services Office provides some of these services, and can connect veterans with others; for more information, visit their new website.