Who Are Veterans and What Do They Do?

Richard VanDeWalle

December 26, 2022

Veterans are individuals who have served in the armed forces of the United States. There are two types of veterans: those who have been in active duty service and those who have been in the National Guard. Both groups face unique challenges, but each serves a crucial purpose in defending our nation.

Active-duty service

Active-duty service for veterans is a benefit that may be available for veterans who served during a period of war. This includes World War II, Korea, and the Gulf War. Veterans are eligible for this benefit if they did at least 24 months on active duty. There are also special rules for civilian service interrupted by uniformed service.

Active-duty service for veterans is defined in Title 37 of the United States Code. It includes full-time training and military duties, as well as attendance at service schools. These services are given full credit for retirement purposes. The Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also part of the Armed Forces.

Veterans who have served at least three years on active duty and were separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions are eligible for preference. Alternatively, you may qualify for a special noncompetitive appointment.

National Guard

There are several benefits available to Reserve and National Guard members. These include disability compensation, dependent and indemnity compensation, and DIC. Depending on the type of service, entitlements may vary.

The VA considers certain factors when determining a reserve or guard member’s veteran status. This includes wartime service, basic training, and service-related disabilities. In addition, the length of time a reserve or guard member was called to active duty counts.

If a National Guard or Reserve member is not called to active duty, they do not qualify for veterans’ benefits. However, when they are called to active duty, they can qualify for some VA benefits.

Aside from these services, the National Guard and Reserve forces are eligible for various other benefits. State Active Duty mobilizes Guard and Militia forces for state emergencies.

Draft-era veterans

A draft-era veteran is a person who served in the military during the Vietnam era. During this time, the Selective Service System was also known as the military draft.

There are many reasons why people are exempted from the draft. For instance, they may be married or have a conscientious objection. Alternatively, they may be able to volunteer for a specific branch of the military. If they do not join the military, they could be denied a variety of government benefits.

In the United States, the draft system has been in place since the American Revolution. Since World War I, it has been used to fill vacancies in the armed forces. This draft system also aided in the preparation of American troops during World War II and the Korean and Cold Wars.

Mental health problems

Having served in the military, veterans face a unique set of health problems. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides care to veterans with various mental health issues.

A large-scale study has found that veterans experience higher rates of mental health problems than civilians. The VA has incorporated complementary wellness approaches to promote good health. They also work to identify veterans at risk for mental illnesses.

The earliest warning signs of a mental illness can be detected by screening for specific symptoms. In addition, some evidence-based treatments have been validated for particular conditions. For example, medication to treat PTSD has been shown to be effective in controlling symptoms.

Among the leading mental health conditions are major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and suicidal thoughts or behavior. Women are more likely to develop these conditions, and the rates are higher among veterans.


Veterans are at increased risk for a variety of mental health issues, including PTSD and depression. Although some of these problems can be managed, the impact can persist for years after the service member returns from deployment.

Military members can suffer from a number of mental health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, and substance use. They also face higher rates of suicide than the general population.

During wartime, soldiers often come in contact with an array of infectious diseases. Combat stress, an emotional stressor, can lead to PTSD.

The traumatic event may lead to extreme physical reactions, such as fight-or-flight. When this happens, the nervous system releases chemicals that lower blood pressure and calm the body.

Combat stress also causes the brain to release endorphins, which increase energy and mood. This can make it more difficult for someone with PTSD to get sleep.