VeteransIn recent years, increasing attention has focused on the experiences and well-being of U.S. military service members who have deployed since 2001 in support of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Compared to previous war eras, these service members were more likely to experience multiple deployments, longer deployments, exposure to potentially traumatic events and conditions, and shorter times at home. In addition, a larger number of women and National Guard and reserve forces were deployed. All of these factors have repercussions for those who served as well as for their families and their communities. Indeed, the process of reintegration (transitioning back into personal and organizational roles after deployment) has proved challenging for some, and our understanding regarding effective reintegration is incomplete despite a strong national emphasis on the topic. 

In response to concerns about veteran reintegration, we partnered with guest editors to develop a special issue on veteran reintegration in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Our Spotlight provides abstracts from the special issue, including Research on Veteransopen access to the introductory editorial. Also, listen to this podcast episode with one of the authors from this special issue, Dr. Joan Griffin, in which she describes the unique challenges facing caregivers of veterans with traumatic brain injury and polytrauma and proposes a model for predicting mental health outcomes in this population.

Want to learn more?

What can you do? 

  • Send a letter to a veteran through Operation Gratitude.
  • Learn more about PTSD and other trauma-related conditions and consider sponsoring a companion dog for a veteran with PTSD.
  • Volunteer at veteran-serving organizations in your community or through an organization such as the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
  • Provide informal support to individuals and families in your neighborhood and broader community with military ties.
  • Help a veteran tell their story through a project such as the Veteran's History Project. You can download a VHP field kit from the Library of Congress website.