When people talk about veterans, there is a misconception that they are only talking about older ex-service personnel. However, young veterans also need help and assistance when they leave the Forces, which is something SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is trying to highlight.
The charity has been helping support those in the forces, veterans and their families for 131 years in the UK, providing aid to ex-servicemen and women of all ages. In fact, SSAFA has identified that it is often working-age veterans between 16 and 64-years-old who need a lot of help and can be living in desperate situations.
Those who are able to enter into work after leaving the Armed Forces don't always transition well into civilian life, struggling to find a job and settle into different circumstances. If someone has been in the Forces for several years, especially if they joined when they were young, it can mean that this is the only career they have known, making it hard to deal with the different way of life.
In 2005, a quarter (25 per cent) of those helped by SSAFA were under 60. This figure increased over ten years, with more than 40 per cent of those supported by the charity being under 60 in 2015. This shows that more and more young veterans are needing help after leaving the Armed Forces.
The charity has found that many of the younger veterans needing assistance failed to ask for help for a long time after leaving the Forces, as they felt too proud. It is often only when a situation gets so bad that asking for assistance is the only option that they do so.
SSAFA is hoping to change this with its 'Got Your Back' campaign, which it is hoping will encourage young veterans who need help adapting to civilian life to step forward. The campaign is highlighting the fact that it is okay to ask for help and that there are charities out there who can support individuals and their families in a number of different ways.
The charity also wants to highlight that those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces are able to access support as well.
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