I wrote a blog on this about two years ago. I wanted to drudge it up again because it should be read not just around the 4th of July, but year round. I hope you enjoy it and really take it to heart.
The 4th of July is a wonderful time to remember our freedoms, and those who have sacrificed to ensure those freedoms for future generations. But like any holiday, as the days fall fast on the calendar, separating us from the festivities, so to does the meaning of the holiday start slip away. The true hero's of the 4th of July are the service men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us free, but there are ranks of those who are being forgotten every day by the nation they fought to keep free. The general media ignores them, and most don't even know there is a problem. But the truth is, our veterans our out there on the street right now, fighting a different kind of battle. They are fighting one of survival.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, "About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 154,000 Veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year." One out of every three homeless people out there on the street have defended this country from harm! And here is a disturbing statistic: "Right now, the number of homeless male and female Vietnam era Veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died during that war." 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."(www.nchv.org)
The NCHV offers some startling statistics about these individuals, statistics which sadly are rarely brought to the forefront in today's liberal media.
23% of homeless population are veterans
33% of male homeless population are veterans
47% Vietnam Era
17% post Vietnam
15% pre Vietnam
67% served three or more years
33% stationed in war zone
25% have used VA Homeless Services
85% completed high school/GED compared to 56% of non-veterans
89% received Honorable Discharge
79% reside in central cities
16% reside in suburban areas
5% reside in rural areas
76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems
46% white males compared to 34% non-veterans
46% age 45 or older compared to 20% non-veterans
45% help finding job
37% finding housing
The question that needs to be asked is this: Why is the nation who expects so much out of its fighting men and women so quick to forget about them when they need us? Is the liberal media so anti military that it is willing to just let these men and women, who did everything that was asked of them, sleep out on the street night after night? How can we as American citizens continue to let this go on further? So I ask you as a fellow American, who appreciates the freedoms that God has given us, and that these men and women have bled for, to not forget about them. The POW/MIA slogan my say "Gone, But Not Forgotten", but what about the ones who are still here?