The Global Alliance is deeply interested in the experiences and well-being of U.S. military service members. Increasingly, this relates to people who have deployed since 2001 in support of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families and communities. 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.
The Global Alliance has developed recommendations for the Biden/Harris Administration that focus on the well-being of veterans, their families and their communities.
- Address discriminatory practices in the military, particularly with regard to deportation of non-citizens, people who are transgender, and women.
- Collaborate with other countries to facilitate access to VA health services for previously deported veterans. For example, implement protocols for facilitating temporary entry into the U.S. for initial consultation to receive a VA rating and assessment of service-connected health issues.
- Take into account the needs of families of military personnel and veterans in developing and implementing policies and practices.
- Provide a resource bank of child- and family-focused resources for military personnel and veterans.
- Address health promotion and access to health services throughout the lifecycle of service particularly with regard to: suicide, Other Than Honorable Discharge, and behavioral health.
- Incorporate evidence-based substance use prevention programming and supportive policies that directly and clearly connect to prevention programs.
- Consult with former and active military personnel to update access and care coordination for veterans and active duty service members. Re-evaluate and revise Other Than Honorable Discharge classifications and management across care conditions.
- Implement an integrated approach to community transitions (exiting the military), which includes removing barriers to accessing services, particularly as they relate to employment opportunities, housing, and community leadership.
- Establish a review panel for non-pharmacological pain relief measures, including the use of complimentary therapies. Ensure that active military and veterans are represented.