The post-deployment challenges facing Alaska's Army National Guard are more daunting and widespread than any seen by Veterans for America (VFA).
VFA's National Guard Program just completed a week in the state reviewing the needs of Alaska's citizen-Soldiers and the resources in place to meet them. The needs of Alaska's Guard members and their families far outstrip the available help.
Many of the Alaska's Guard members have been deployed, and redeployed, despite the shortage of care and treatment available upon their return. With more than one-quarter of Alaska's Guard members living 60 miles or more from a Veterans Affairs facility, many rarely if ever get treatment they need. Travel to Anchorage alone can cost more than $1,500 for each Guard member - an upfront cost too burdensome for many to shoulder, even if they are eventually reimbursed. With the economy worsening, the costs to Guard families for their own healthcare will mount and even fewer will receive treatment.