[Hpn] A tsunami of homeless veterans

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sat, 26 Jan 2008 21:27:50 -0500


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http://thisjustin.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/a-tsunami-of-homeless-veterans=
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Posted by: Daniel | January 26, 2008=20
A tsunami of homeless veterans
A homeless veteran is a guy on the median strip holding a ragged =
cardboard sign that says, "Veteran. Everything helps! God Bless!" right? =
These are the people we avoid making eye contact with because eye =
contact is a sort of unspoken contract that acknowledges that "I see =
you. Do you have something to say to me? Do I have to acknowledge your =
existence?"

Who wants to open that door? What would a buck, or five bucks, do for a =
person in that situation? The "drop in the bucket" syndrome kicks in, =
and we avoid doing anything at all because anything we could do wouldn't =
make a difference. Damn, we think. Why doesn't that light turn green?

The guy on the median strip isn't the whole story. The New York Times =
reported recently that "nearly 11 percent of newly homeless veterans are =
women." Many of them were sexually abused while in the military. =
Veterans make up 26 percent of homeless people, but only 11 percent of =
the adult population. There are nearly 200,000 homeless veterans. Iraq =
and Afghanistan continue to provide grist for the homelessness machine. =
War hurts, and the hurt may get worse once the veteran comes home.

The Times story contains this quote: "We're beginning to see, across the =
country, the first trickle of this generation of warriors in homeless =
shelters," said Phil Landis, chairman of Veterans Village of San Diego, =
a residence and counseling center. "But we anticipate that it's going to =
be a tsunami."

We need a far more ambitious program for healing the people we send into =
the meatgrinder of war. I wish to God we didn't send them to war in the =
first place, but doing so obligates us to them.

I encourage you to read the Times article. This news is all over the =
place, so you don't have to stop there. We need to do a lot more than =
give the guy on the median strip a handout. The tsunami is coming.

I welcome your thoughts.


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<DIV><SMALL><A=20
href=3D"http://thisjustin.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/a-tsunami-of-homeless-=
veterans/">http://thisjustin.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/a-tsunami-of-homele=
ss-veterans/</A></SMALL></DIV>
<DIV><SMALL></SMALL>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><SMALL>Posted by: <STRONG>Daniel</STRONG> | January 26, 2008 =
</SMALL></DIV>
<H2>A tsunami of homeless&nbsp;veterans</H2>
<DIV class=3Dpost>
<DIV class=3Dentry>
<DIV class=3Dsnap_preview>
<P>A homeless veteran is a guy on the median strip holding a ragged =
cardboard=20
sign that says, =93Veteran. Everything helps! God Bless!=94 right? These =
are the=20
people&nbsp;we avoid making eye contact with because eye contact is a =
sort of=20
unspoken contract that acknowledges that =93I see you. Do you have =
something to=20
say to me? Do I have to acknowledge your existence?=94</P>
<P>Who wants to open that door? What would a buck, or five bucks, do for =
a=20
person in that situation? The =93drop in the bucket=94 syndrome kicks =
in, and we=20
avoid doing anything at all because anything we could do wouldn=92t make =
a=20
difference. Damn, we think. Why doesn=92t that light turn green?</P>
<P>The guy on the median strip isn=92t the whole story. <A=20
href=3D"http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/us/08vets.html?_r=3D1&amp;em&am=
p;ex=3D1194670800&amp;en=3De8a90c978962b3a1&amp;ei=3D5087%0A&amp;oref=3Ds=
login"><FONT=20
color=3D#7f1d1d><EM>The New York Times</EM> </FONT></A>reported recently =
that=20
=93nearly 11 percent of newly homeless veterans are women.=94 Many of =
them were=20
sexually abused while in the military. Veterans make up 26 percent of =
homeless=20
people, but only 11 percent of the adult population. There are nearly =
200,000=20
homeless veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan continue to provide grist for =
the=20
homelessness machine. War hurts, and the hurt may get worse once the =
veteran=20
comes home.</P>
<P>The Times story contains this quote: =93We=92re beginning to see, =
across the=20
country, the first trickle of this generation of warriors in homeless =
shelters,=94=20
said Phil Landis, chairman of Veterans Village of San Diego, a residence =
and=20
counseling center. =93But we anticipate that it=92s going to be a =
tsunami.=94</P>
<P>We need a far more ambitious program for healing the people we send =
into the=20
meatgrinder of war. I wish to God we didn=92t send them to war in the =
first place,=20
but doing so obligates us to them.</P>
<P>I encourage you to read the Times article. This news is all over the =
place,=20
so you don=92t have to stop there. We need to do a lot more than give =
the guy on=20
the median strip a handout. The tsunami is coming.</P>
<P>I welcome your thoughts.</P></DIV></DIV></DIV>
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