(Washington) -- Once their duty to the country is over, many American servicemen and women find adjusting to civilian life tough.
Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne is calling for more post-service assistance for veterans. Axne spent Veterans Day attending several events aimed at veterans--including a round table in Adel. At that event, Axne says she heard from veterans who are having trouble with various issues attached to life after service.
"Unfortunately, we're seeing too many people with substance abuse problems," said Axne, "we're seeing folks with mental health issues, and we've got to make sure that they can acclimate to a different life. We've got to make sure that they've got good-paying jobs, that their families are supported. So, we need more programs put in place to help them with that transition, so that those who have served our country, and help us protect our democracy--we owe them everything--have a chance that's very different from a world in which they spent their last several years."
Axne says more support is needed for veterans transitioning to civilian life.
"Too many folks just want to get home," she said. "I can understand that. So, they don't really go through the proper procedures to check people out to make sure they've got some type of bench to support them when they've got an opportunity to make a living, that they've got someone looking out for them if they've suffered from PTSD, or some other mental health issue. So, those are some of the things that have fallen through the cracks."
One program helping veterans is the Military Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Formerly known as Transition GPS, the program provides information on veterans benefits, educational options, federal assistance and veterans employment help. In a related note, the U.S. House Wednesday approved the G-I Planning Act. Backed by Axne and 15 Republicans and Democrats, the bill provides new military recruits a six-month window to choose their G-I educational benefits plan.