Many of us who live in major metropolises have grown accustomed to the occasional “panhandler”. Lately, at least in Fort Lauderdale, it’s unusual not to see at least one at most major street intersections. I had grown complacent about their presence. Frankly, I didn’t believe any of the “homeless vet” signs that I came across. To imagine that a veteran could be homeless, was beyond my thought process, until one day I stumbled onto a website discussing the “homeless problem” among vets. As a veteran myself, I was suddenly and unexpectedly faced with a new reality. I remember how emotional I became and I actually began crying. How could this be happening in the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the world? Nevertheless, the problem exists, whether we like it or not. And, we cannot count on the government alone to fix the problem. Its not working! Unfortunately, the problem has been exacerbated by the general consensus that it’s the government’s problem and not ours. We, as a nation, owe our very existence to our men and women in uniform and it is incumbent upon us to respond accordingly.
The compelling drama played out everyday on the streets of America, where our veterans, unable to cope with their nightmares and incessant emotional trauma, unable and/or unwilling to seek help on their own behalf, are left to the ravages of the underbelly of our society, often succumbing to the worst possible hate crimes imaginable. The very people who were prepared to sacrifice all, so that we may continue to enjoy the rights our Constitution so eloquently guarantees, rights the majority of the world yearns for, are being ignored by the very Americas they were sworn to protect. Living in squalor, huddling under bridges and overpasses, suffering the worst horrors imaginable, our veterans are left to their own devices. Their sense of logic, their willingness to help themselves so impaired, that in many cases, they pray for the end to come soon. With no hope for tomorrow, and a system that is structured to help only those who help themselves, and the lack of advocates, America’s heroes are left to ask – why?
I urge you all to help and donate to Project: We Care.
Project We Care, Inc.
( A 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit Corporation )