PTSD and Veteran Homelessness and How One Comic Creator is Helping


The homelessness pandemic has affected all walks of life but has been particularly hard on the veteran community. Always hit the hardest by troubling social changes, veterans are falling into homelessness at an alarming rate. Many are also becoming heavily addicted to various substances as they fight against the troubling realities of living life after experiencing combat.

Thankfully, there are some who are taking steps to address this issue. For example, two comic creators with military family members decided to pair up with the top veteran homelessness organization to provide charitable help. They’re doing this through the release of a special comic that pairs well with the military lifestyle and provides a unique release for readers interested in this facet of the world.

The Connection Between PTSD And Homelessness

The VA reports that many thousands of veterans suffer homelessness every year, a problem that seems to only worsen with the passing of time. Even as our understanding of the causes behind this problem increase, it becomes clear that little has changed. That’s because the connection between PTSD and homelessness in veterans is only now being explored in full depth by psychologists.

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a series of symptoms that occur when someone suffers a traumatic incident. These symptoms can vary from person to person but typically cause great psychological distress. Just a few of the most common issues that a person may experience when going through PTSD include:

  • Depression: Many veterans who survive where others have died feel great survivor guilt and PTSD which may cause depression. This depression may become particularly pronounced to the point where they struggle to work and may find themselves in a homeless situation.
  • Flashbacks: Veterans experiencing PTSD may develop flashbacks to the traumatic incidents that affected them. For example, they may relive a moment when they were permanently disabled or lost a friend. These flashbacks can make it hard for them to feel comfortable and happy.
  • Trouble Integrating: Integrating back into a civilian lifestyle is hard for many veterans. Some may struggle with guilty feelings, while others simply don’t feel at home. Others may simply not have the job skills necessary to transition to civilian life and fall into a destructive lifestyle.
  • Self-Destructive Behaviors: Tragically, many veterans fall into self-destructive behaviors, such as alcohol and drug abuse or isolating themselves from family members. They may feel disconnected from the rest of humanity and feel like they “deserve” to be homeless after fighting in wars and killing others.

Tragically, PTSD is often severe enough in many veterans that they struggle to live their day-to-day life. Some may find it nearly impossible to transition to a civilian lifestyle because they simply cannot leave their past behind them. Others may turn to drugs or alcohol to kill these emotions, which can easily spiral into abusive cycles that leave them in a homeless state late in life.

Thankfully, some people are taking extra steps to help. While federal resources are available, they are often hard to come by or are already strained to the breaking point. Comic creator Geoff Johns is all too aware of this problem and the ways that homelessness affects the veteran community. Relative to many veterans, he and his partner, Gary Frank, have decided to do something positive about this pandemic with the release of their newest comic, “Junkyard Joe.”

How They Plan to Help

Gary Franks and Johns both had grandparents who served in World War II. While their grandparents didn’t suffer from homelessness, they had emotional problems associated with their time-fighting in various battles. As a result, the two decided to make the right decision by creating a special first-edition comic of their upcoming “Junkyard Joe” release. This black-and-white issue will be sold in a limited edition in October.

Profits from this release will get the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and Veterans Aid. This group helps support homeless veterans by helping them find homes, providing emotional support, and helping them through medical care. Furthermore, it helps raise awareness of this problem to ensure that more people can help struggling individuals find their way out of the darkness.

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