I’m not a fan of reading news papers. But this weekly spread, The News Tribune does, had a story that caught my attention. It featured a story of a Navy veteran who was in his 70’s working at the Tacoma Rescue Mission. The picture showed him teaching a 14 year old girl how to make a salad.
The story goes on talking about how the mission shelters about 200 people. Out of those, 30-40 of them are veterans. I am more than intrigued, I’m shocked. Why isn’t America hiring Vets especially after what they have been through? Especially why not in leadership positions?
Well, that’s not an easy answer to give I would imagine. But my questioning went to a different direction. How bad is the homeless veteran statistic? This is what I researched.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness there are on any given night in the U.S., 610,042 people homeless. Of those numbers, nine percent or 57,849 of these people are veterans. Thank you corporate America! But let’s not get off track.
This pic had the comment: Homeless vets more likely to die in the streets .
Eric Shinseki of the Obama administration when he was the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, announced an initiative the end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. A five year project.
Between 2010 and 2014 the number of homeless veterans did indeed drop by 33 percent. In fiscal year 2014, the VA dedicated $1.4 billion to specialized homeless programs, plus another $5.4 billion to health care for Veterans who are homeless.
Now, there is, I’m sure a lot of debate between Shinseki’s sudden resigning and the debacle of the Veteran’s Hospital. I don’t want to get into all that. This is a bit of a wake-up call. A wake-up call that someone who has put their well-being and life on the line for us, repeatedly, needs our help.
A good number of these vets are suffering in ways I couldn’t have guessed in many ways. Some of these people are suffering from mental illness, drug abuse or just plain poverty. Some, or dare I say, most are still living with PTSD. All these dragons make it difficult to transition back into a civilian life. The two lives are very different in itself.
Women have a different situation when transitioning out of the military. Some have children to care for. Men do not have this problem necessarily. Some of the women are going through sexual trauma. I can’t imagine what that could possibly be like. I can only guess that it is a huge distrust against the opposite sex.
I hope I gave you enough information to at least look into this problem our military veterans are going through. And I have to thank va.gov for providing it and well as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
But before this article comes to an end, let me give you this. if you know of any vet that needs help, have them call; 878 424-3838. It’s a help line dedicated for veterans to get off the streets and families to get safe homes. These people; The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans are there and waiting for vets to get a hold of them to clean up their lives.
You can always donate or volunteer to help out a vet if you go to: www.1.va.gov