A nation has innumerable benefits from the outstanding service of those serving the military. Veterans, unlike citizens, dare toput their lives on the line for the country’s safety.
This act of selflessness and bravery reflects upon the laws and principles that govern a nation, upheld by a veteran’s act of courage.
While veterans forgo their freedom to ensure the nation’s safety, these brave souls have to pay the price physically and psychologically.
That is why, as a nation, it is our moral duty to consider veterans more than a means to an end and understand that these individuals deserve high regard.
In the line of duty, the possibility of landing in a challengingsituation, like encountering explosionsor exposure to chemicals and infectious diseases, is high. The outcomes of these tough situations manifest into health issues post-deployment.
Some health issues veterans face include musculoskeletal injuries, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cancer from exposure to chemicals.
A Reuters health survey concluded that mostveterans’ primary concern in the first year after retiring from service is their health.
When health concerns are not promptly addressed during the transition to civilian life, they set the stage for lifelong issues.
Another reason contributing to aggravating health-related problems in veterans is a lack of knowledge about the health benefits provided by health administrations.
Though these administrations provideadequate help for veterans, it is crucial that veteransalso make a conscious effort to ensure their well-being.
So, the question is,how can veterans ensure their well-being? Let’s take a look.
1. Regular Medical Check-ups
During service, veterans are offered several benefits like accommodation, regular medical check-ups, and a solid income.
However, after retiring from service, a veteran might not have access to these perks, which leads to negligence towards health.
Military personnel must understand that one of the keys to maintaining good health is to go for regular medical check-ups. These check-ups aim at identifying any underlying medical problems that are not physically apparent.
Many veterans experience various service-related health conditions during and after service.Sadly, most of these problems are addressed only when they have advanced.
A regular medical check-up includes a comprehensive physical exam catered to the patient’s age and specific risk factors, lab tests involving blood and cholesterol tests, and screening for gender or age-specific medical condition.
2. Seek Help
Serving in the military impacts veterans’ mental health,leading to PTSD, anxiety, and stress. If left unaddressed, these disorders could result in domestic violence, substance abuse, or suicide.
A veteran must considerseeking immediate help, whether it’sjoining a support group or visiting a therapist to avoid depression.
Having supportive relationships with friends and family brings forth feelings of happiness and promotes good health. Besides family connections, joining support groups improves overall health.
Being a support group memberallows veterans to heal from past traumas.Sharing past experiences harbors mutual understanding and instills a sense of connection in a non-judgmental environment.
Though talking about past experiences might be uncomfortable, it helps cope with the emotional baggage associated with that particular experience.
Seeking help might not solve the problem completely; however, it does help tackle day-to-day challenges.
Numerous studies have concluded that engaging in physical activity is the most effective way to stay healthy and happy.
The military environment is challenging,whichcan have physical and emotional implications on veterans after they retire.
The human body can adapt to the environment,so when exposed to a stressful environment, it undergoes changes that negatively impact health, like poor physical fitness.
The critical factor in staying healthy is not allowing your body to be a pillar of unhealthy habits.
For veterans, the one way to prevent that is byexercising,which is also a great approach toreturning to their community.
Remember, as a veteran, having a sound body is the key to living healthy,which is what physical activity is about.
Veterans commonly experience mental health disorderspost-retirement, making it difficult for them to interact with others or participate in any activity.
Lifting weights, doing yoga, or participating in a martial arts class helps combat feelings like isolation associated with various mental health problems and improves interaction with others.
4. Eating Healthy
It is essential to understand that what we choose to eat goes a long way in establishing the kind of lifestyle we will lead. The food choices we make impact our overall health.
Although during service, veterans are well aware of their diet and the significance it has during service, however, things are not the same post-retirement.
Itcan be challengingfor veterans to keep tabs on their diet and ensurethey are eating healthy.
What veterans must realize is that to live a long and healthy life, they need to make the right dietary choices even after retirement.
Eating healthy is also a challenge today because the food industry is hardly promoting healthy options; instead, their focus is directed towards fast food, which leads to various illnesses like obesity and heart disease.
Therefore, veterans must ensure that their meals fall under the category of a well-balanced diet. Nutritious meals should ideally comprise a balanced portion of proteins and vegetables.
Refraining from fast food like alcohol or sugary helps cut calories; however, indulging in occasional treats doesn’t matter.
There is no denying that serving the country is an honor and risking your life for the safety of others is an act of courage.
However, freedom comes with a price that war veterans have to pay by compromising their health.
Many people dream of living a life of peace and comfort after retirement, but that is not always the case.
Though these problems might reflect that it’s the end of the road with no way out, there are ways to livea long andhealthy life.
Exercise, a support network, and a well-balanced diet are the key for veterans to enjoy and livethe life they deserve.