The Critical Importance of Time, Place, and Type of Discharge from the Military

  • Elspeth Cameron RitchieEmail author


This chapter was first conceived by the editors as one on special populations “to include women, homeless, and Iraq and Afghanistan veterans”. However, each service era and cohort of veterans is its own special population, often defined by where and when they served. Thus, another way to conceptualize the veteran population is by either the time and place in which they served, conflicts in which they fought, or the period of service during peacetime. For convenience these conflicts and/or wars are called by their most commonly used name, which is often the country in which they take place. The chapter also focuses on the “special populations” of female veterans and homeless veterans. The chapter opens with a discussion of types of discharges veterans receive when they leave the military, as that discharge may be critically important to their future trajectory. Those with negative discharges are at higher risk for problems with employment, homelessness, drug issues and legal problems. Studies have shown that they are far more expensive to society as well because of the tremendous medical costs related to homelessness.


Veterans Wars Female service members PTSD Homelessness Crimes Legal system 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMedstar Washington Hospital CenterWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown University School of MedicineWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryGeorge Washington University School of MedicineWashington, DCUSA

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