There are an estimated 13,000 homeless female veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who are all but adrift once they return home from serving their country. Many of these women are single mothers. Homelessness is a serious enough issue to examine from an individualistic point of view. How serious is it for this demographic — one that includes children — and a home life fraught with instability? Add mental illness and joblessness, and this problem is too big too ignore.
Dr. Mehmet Oz will explore different facets of this issue on his April 21 medical talk show. Leading a frank discussion with 26 female veterans, Dr. Oz will delve into the women’s battle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and whether or not female soldiers respond to battle fatigue and duress differently than men. The show will also examine many female soldiers difficulty re-acclimating to the role of mom and wife. Early studies show that a deployed female soldier will have a very different experience when returning home.
Visiting Beacon house, a shelter for homeless veterans on Long Island, New York, Dr. Oz explores the lives of four homeless veterans working their way back to normalcy. A frank discussion with homeless veterans and shelter residents, Specialist, Jackie Deleonardis, Specialist Gail Barnette and Petty Officer Patty Rene, enlightens viewers as they share their emotional stories of returning home from war only to find themselves living on the streets.
The all female audience includes Dr. Sonja Batten from the Department Of Veteran Affairs; Office Of Mental Health Services, Colonel Rebecca Porter, chief of the Behavioral Health Division in the Office of The Army of Surgeon General; Corporal Ana Alzarez, Specialist Dawn Barber, a 14-year veteran who served in Desert Storm; Victoria Givens, a former Marine Corps staff sergeant and Sergeant First Class Tara Hutchinson.
“As women have moved into roles traditionally occupied by men in our military such as combat, we are now beginning to understand how post traumatic stress ravages those who so bravely gave their time and their health to keep us safe. The problem is a new one, and the Department of Defense should be commended for taking that first important step in dealing with its vast scope: talking about it. These women are heroes in the truest sense and will inspire you and touch your heart,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz.