Imagine the entire city of McKinney wearing red on Fridays – a sea of red shirts everywhere – worn by members of the business community and residents alike. Why? To show our community supports our local veterans – to show our troops that they will never be forgotten. They bleed red so we wear red.
We at TownSquareBuzz.com (TSB) established the TSB Foundation to engage McKinney residents and create and expand awareness around the unique issues that veterans face. To increase awareness surrounding veterans, we joined the national Red Shirt Fridays campaign. The mission of the Red Shirt Fridays program is to show support for our servicemen and women. It is not a political organization. The Red Shirt program doesn’t care whether or not one supports or does not support the war, it is about making support of those servicemen and women who have pledged their lives to serve our country known to our fellow Americans and the world.
The goal is the TSB Foundation is to help those organizations in McKinney that provide assistance to veterans, such as Community Lifeline Center and Habitat for Humanity, by raising funds or simply by pitching in to help with various projects when needed.
Here are some of the many challenges that veterans face upon returning home from deployment:
One in 10 Iraq war vets develop serious mental health problems, a new study concludes.
The problems range from violent behavior, to PTSD to depression to alcohol abuse. In a study of returning soldiers, clinicians identified 20 percent of active and 42 percent of reserve component soldiers as requiring mental health treatment.
- The Veterans’ Administration recently reported it faces a backlog of more than 175,000 disability claims.
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Substance Abuse: The Department of Defense reports a reduction in illegal drug use, however, among those veterans who have experienced combat, there is a rise in the use of prescription drugs and alcohol.
- Family Issues: A study entitled “Veteran Status, Marital Infidelity, and Divorce,” found that among those who had ever married, veterans were almost 10 percent more likely to have gotten divorced (38.5 percent compared to 28.9 percent).
- Homelessness: The Veterans Administration estimates that 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Due to an extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.
McKinney was selected the fifth best place to live in the country in 2010 and the quality of life present in our community was one of the reasons we were chosen. Let’s not forget that our veterans also deserve that same quality of life. Our servicemen and women have sacrificed so much for our safety and for our freedom.
Please let our servicemen and women know that you support their sacrifice and will not forget them.You can support our troops by purchasing one of our red shirts or just wear red on Fridays. Please join us and support those who have served! Let’s make McKinney a sea of red this Friday!