Long Beach Veterans Share Their Stories

Jan. 27, 2013 / By

Coming back from war is hard, here are some stories.

By VoiceWaves Youth Reporter Alyson Bryant

Last year the Veterans Administration treated almost 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Democracy Now. This year suicides have reached an all-time high.

Coming back from war is hard. VoiceWaves caught up with some local intergenerational veterans to hear what they have to say about what it’s like to come back to Long Beach.

There are about 52,000 veterans actively receiving care through Veterans Affairs Long Beach each year, with 14,000 from Iraq and Afghanistan. About 3,500 are women.

VoiceWaves interviewed Kamil, who is a female army veteran and stays in a Long Beach homeless shelter for U.S Women Veterans.

A variety of important benefits and services are available to veterans and to their families, survivors and next-of-kin from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

One older veteran, Lonnie, argues that that there are sometimes little stipulations to getting help and “not all veterans get the resources.”

According to an article in USA Today, veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percentof the general adult population.

Veterans talk about settling back into Long Beach.

For more veterans’ resources, visit:

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

U.S. VETS- Long Beach

VA Long Beach

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Alyson Bryant

Alyson Bryant

Alyson Bryant was raised in Long Beach and is a graduate of Long Beach Poly High. Alyson has learned and seen a lot since high school, witnessing first-hand gang violence and the effects it had on her friends and fellow classmates– from going to jail to being killed. As a result, she has a strong passion for at-risk youth and her community. She is a youth mentor for at the California Conference for Equality and Justice and focuses her work on Long Beach youth in schools and detention centers. Since high school, she has obtained a A.S. degree in criminal justice and is now working on her B.A. With the opportunity she has be given by VoiceWaves, she is able to tell story about Long Beach and the issues it faces and speak for the communities whose voices are often marginalized.