Homeless Vets: Brothers under the bridge

Over 67,000 veterans are homeless on any given night

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly five percent being female. The majority of them are single; come from urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About one-third of the adult homeless population are veterans.

America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served Continue reading

VA Eligibility Letter Postmortem

VA letter addressed to my dad on November 1, 2008:

“According to records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you were stationed in the Republic of Vietnam during your military service.” The letter goes on to tell my father all about disability compensation he may be eligible for. Great! Just one problem: Continue reading

Iowa Veteran Finds Himself Lost…

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/19/iowa-veteran-finds-himself-lost-in-vas-benefits-logjam/?test=latestnews

Summary: Due to the backlog of paperwork at the VA, a 24-year-old former Marine who lost his leg in Iraq is still waiting to see if his full disability will be instated.  According to the article, ONE MILLION vets are waiting for their disability cases to be reviewed.

Thoughts: I have a dear friend who works for the VA, and in the last few years of my dad’s life she proved an invaluable resource in helping me navigate the VA system.  There were times when she wasn’t accessible (she worked in a different state) and when I would tell her about my David to the VA’s Goliath battles, she would become so upset, “That shouldn’t have happened! Someone should have helped you with that!” She has a heart of gold and it was oh so comforting to know that there was at least one person who worked for the VA who cared.  BUT, so many others don’t have that lifeline, so many others, like this 24-year-old former Marine, feel forgotten.