Laura Jean Null
According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, “the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 47,725 veterans are homeless on any given night.”
47,725 is an extreme number for those who have sacrificed everything to come back to nothing. But why are the numbers so high?
Before going further, National Public Radio’s (NPR), “By the Numbers: Todays Military” reported that there are approximately 2,266,883 military men and woman serving.
This includes active duty National Guard, Air National Guard and reserves. Thus, the number of homeless compared to the number currently serving is substantially lower, however that does not justify for reasoning behind these homeless heroes.
We must ask ourselves what defines a hero, an American hero. I would say ultimate sacrifice, dedication, love and valor to go beyond the expectations of others, protecting this nation, to make America land of the free.
The National Coalition also reported that most veterans are homeless due to (PTSD) posttraumatic stress disorder, lack of family or social connecting and substance abuse.
War can change a person. Seeing the horrors of death taken place right in front of your very own eyes can leave a mark within your brain forever.
Even worse, killing close range, seeing the victim that the soldier has just killed can leave a scar that will never heal. Fighting in war is sacrificing a huge toll, to save others while you could lose your sanity.
Maybe America is not doing enough. Some wars need to be fought, but others we are only in because of politics.
If we are not fighting for a cause, then the people should stand together and stop government acts and laws. In most cases men and women are fighting a battle that does not need to be fought.
Although, the wars we do send troops to, whether it be their voluntary act or in a rare occurrence if the draft was to ever appear again, America must give these soldiers their credit where credit is due.
47,725 veterans on the street at night are far too many!
Soup kitchens and unsanitary homeless shelters are not enough. These American fighters need proper healthcare; they need shelter with structure, guidance and comfort.
They need to be brought out of the mindset of the war and slowly readjusted to the norms of society.
They need We the People to care for them. Any chance you get, help out, whether it is sending a few dollars to the Wounded Warriors Project, canned goods and toiletries in to shelters, and if there is a veteran you know in need of a crisis, call 1.877.424.3838 for 24/7 assistance.
We are a nation, land of the free because of the brave and our veterans are now in need us more than ever.
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