People who serve in the military put a lot on the line, even if they don’t end up in dangerous situations or war zones. Anyone in the armed forces has to undergo extensive training and follow strict routines and rules. Those who are on active duty must follow orders on things such as where they live and when they are deployed, which can be rough on the individuals in the military and also their families.


So, even veterans who may not have gone through stereotypically traumatizing situations can still have many physical and mental health concerns once their time in the military is over. 


Suppose you’re an active duty military member, a veteran, or a loved one. In that case, understanding common health issues that impact members of the armed forces is helpful. This way, you can know what to watch for and when to reach out for support.


Learn more about some of the most common health issues that impact veterans in this guide. If you have specific health questions, always find a medical professional to assist you. 


Anxiety And Depression


According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 200,000 service members will move from active duty to out-of-military service each year. This transition from military to civilian life is often challenging. The military is highly structured, and it’s also a place where many people find community and camaraderie.


Leaving the military leaves many people struggling to find their place, and many veterans also face trauma and other impacts from their time in the service. In fact, around a third of military veterans say they deal with mental health problems in the nine months after leaving active service, but these impacts can last much longer for some. 


Seeking mental health assistance is vital for many veterans, and it’s important to encourage any veterans you know to get this help if they need it.




Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that’s caused by exposure to asbestos. According to, around a third of people in the United States with mesothelioma are veterans because they are often exposed to asbestos, even when they aren’t deployed.


Mesothelioma can impact the lungs, heart, and other areas of the body. If you have lung problems, it’s essential to reach out to a healthcare professional. Also, it’s usually possible to qualify for VA Disability Compensation in this case. 


Brain Injuries


For veterans who did serve in more dangerous conditions, such as during Operation Enduring Freedom, traumatic brain injuries are relatively common. Even in peaceful conditions, traumatic brain injuries can occur. Many members of the armed forces train and operate on heavy machinery and equipment that come with some inherent risks.


Traumatic brain injuries vary in severity and presentation. Some people can still go about their daily lives with little assistance, while others can’t. These are complex situations that require constant care from a team of medical professionals.




Just like with anxiety and depression, insomnia issues are quite common in service members after they have left active duty. There are many underlying reasons for this. Sometimes, anxiety and depression are the cause. PTSD could also be causing insomnia. 


While some people will adjust to civilian life and start to sleep better, others may have a harder time making this decision. 


How To Find Assistance As A Veteran


If you’re a veteran, you’ll find resources through your state’s VA department and hospitals. For loved ones looking to support the veterans they know, you can research resources in your area and encourage your loved ones to seek medical attention.