If you’ve watched or listened to any news media over the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard the growing list of negative veteran stereotypes surrounding our military vets. Based on these reports, it is no wonder why civilians think that all veterans suffer from PTSD or are on the brink of committing suicide or mass murder. It would appear that life after the military holds very little hope for the men and women who have served their country.
Stopping Negative Veteran Stereotypes
There is no doubt that serving in the Armed Forces brings about personal and professional challenges, but that does not mean that all veterans are ticking time-bombs or damaged goods. Most of us aren’t standing on a street corner needing a handout. We can certainly do more than work as security guards. These are some of the negative veteran stereotypes and they need to stop.
It’s true there are military men and women who find it extremely difficult to reintegrate into civilian life. There are veterans who suffer Post Traumatic Stress for a variety of reasons. The national suicide rate for veterans is insanely high. People who served in the Armed Forces can have problems that civilians don’t understand. Despite these realities, it doesn’t mean the negative stereotypes are all true.
We should be careful with the labels being placed on our veteran community.
The danger of all these negative veteran stereotypes is that it can cause vets to be viewed with the wrong lens. Employers might skip hiring veterans, fearing they could be liabilities instead of assets. Non-profit donors could decide their financial contributions might be better invested on “curable” solutions. Family members might keep their distance for fear their loved one is unstable or doped up on pills.
Perhaps these assumptions are extreme, but it has happened. This is why it’s important to dispel the negative veteran stereotypes and tell the whole and accurate story about veterans.
Start Telling the Positive Side of Veterans
While the media is the main culprit in fostering these negative stereotypes about veterans, there are plenty of military non-profit organizations painting a grim picture of veterans as well. We are shown pictures and stories of the combat veterans who have lost so much, and these statistics or stories need to be told, but it also contributes more negative stereotypes about our military veterans. Maybe we should implement new strategies for veteran awareness.
We believe it is time to show the world that our veterans also have a positive side to their lives. Veterans are dependable, committed, self-sufficient, and able to perform successfully under stressful conditions. They are leaders who want to invest in a new mission whether that’s through civic duties or for profit ventures. There are millions of veterans who do more good and less of the bad observed in the news. We are not damaged goods!
You can sound off on negative stereotypes about veterans too!
If you are concerned with the stories being told, you can change it. Find great aspects about our veterans and talk it up. Share positive messages or articles on social media. Let people know that negative veteran stereotypes aren’t appreciated. Sound off and have a voice. It will do the world some good.
Help keep our Lifeline for Vets standing strong. We are veterans helping veterans.