JOSE: I was a trained soldier. Readily available at any time. You know, mentally. Tough, physically tough to go ahead and handle business. In basic training, we say you eat now, and taste later. So, in Iraq we say you fight now, and you cry later. BOB WOODRUFF: What about here? JOSE: Here, it's-- everything's backwards. You're just always constantly crying. And-- and, you know, thinking about what could've happened, what just happened, you know. So, it was worse here.
HE'S NOT ALONE. THE VA BELIEVES THERE COULD BE THOUSANDS MORE HOMELESS IN PART BECAUSE OF COMBAT STRESS, BRAIN INJURIES FROM IED'S AND THE RISING USE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL. ALREADY, OVER A QUARTER OF A MILLION TROOPS HAVE ASKED FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT. BUT THERE ARE MANY MORE THAT GO UNDIAGNOSED…
SETH DIAMOND, Commissioner Department of Homeless Services - NYC People are very proud when they come back. They may not want to-- admit that they need some help.
IN NEW YORK CITY, THE VA HAS PARTNERED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELESS SERVICES…TO HELP IDENTIFY AND HOUSE VETERANS IN NEED, TO AVOID MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES MADE AFTER THE VIETNAM WAR.
SOT SETH DIAMOND DHS COMMISSIONER Vietnam-era veterans, we still are serving a number of them because they were never properly reestablished in their communities when they returned. The country has learned a lot. The city has learned a lot. you gotta get it right at the beginning. And if you do that, it'll have lasting effect.
BUT SOME SAY CHANGES ARE NOT BEING MADE FAST ENOUGH… WITH THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN STILL AT FULL FORCE - TROOPS ARE BEING CALLED UPON TO SERVE OVER AND OVER. APPROXIMATELY 900,000 SERVICEMEMBERS HAVE BEEN SENT INTO HARMS WAY MORE THAN ONCE - WOMEN INCLUDED - IN FACT, WOMEN ARE BECOMING HOMELESS FASTER THAN MEN…
SOT PAUL RIECKHOFF, Director IAVA Women are becoming homeless at twice the rate of men. Women are at a much greater risk across the board on homelessness, on unemployment, on suicide. They make up about 15% of the returning fighting force. And that's something the VA wasn't prepared for. Nonprofits weren't prepared for. Shelters weren't prepared for. And that's why we're seeing them end up homeless at such a higher rate.
SGT. Q-TARA HENRY IS ONE OF THOSE WOMEN…A CHEMICAL WEAPONS SPECIALIST WITH THE 101ST AIRBORN SHE SERVED 2 DEPLOYMENTS TO IRAQ, HER SECOND TOUR OF DUTY CAME ONLY 4 MONTHS AFTER HER SON WAS BORN…WHILE IN IRAQ HER HUSBAND FILED FOR DIVORCE AND WAS GRANTED CUSTODY OF THEIR TWO KIDS.
Q-TARA: When I found out about court and everything else. I said, "You know what? I gotta get a lawyer." So, I was trying to deal with those things while I was in Iraq. So, that's where all my money was going.
WHEN SHE CAME BACK TO THE US SHE SLEPT ON FRIENDS COUCHES, AND EVEN IN A CAR ON THE STREET. TODAY SHE'S AT THE BORDEN AVENUE VETERANS SHELTER IN QUEENS WITH 26 OTHER VETERANS FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.