03 March 2008

SGT Freedom Discusses Homeless Veterans

On a serious note, a public service announcement from LT Nixon:

SGT Freedom is good people. I occasionally disagree with his take on illegal immigration and the religion of Islam (I really have nothing against the religion itself), but all in all he is a very energetic supporter of the troops. His most recent video rant takes on the problem of homeless veterans. While homelessness is a problem in America in general, the fact that vets are homeless is an absolute disgrace. I'm not big on social entitlement programs, but veterans have provided an invaluable service to the country and we as taxpayers are contractually obligated to ensure that they have all their basic necessities covered. I used to live by the VA center off the 405 in West LA, and there was a huge amount of homeless Vietnam vets living on the streets. I would always see them on the bus back to Hollywood, one gentleman still wearing combat fatigues and shades screaming to himself during the entire bus ride. Another vet I ran into a lot had the sores on the side of his mouth characteristic of crack abuse. Being a smart ass college kid, I was at first skeptical of his service initially, but he went into great detail about his tour in Vietnam. Some vets may be homeless due to drug/alcohol abuse and a cynic could say "Well, that's their own damn problem", but shouldn't we help them get into shelters to treat their addictions instead of leaving them out on the streets of the LA concrete jungle? The disproportionately larger number of homeless vets (25%) compared to the number of vets in American society (~10%) is the result of trauma suffered while in combat. The IAVA does a lot of outreach for homeless veterans, and VoteVets.Org will criticize pundits like Bill O' Reilly who claims homeless vets aren't a problem. SGT Freedom taking on homeless vets completes the political spectrum (coming from the right) to take on this issue. I'm glad there's some things all vets can agree on.


Bag Blog said...

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. There are lots of alcohol and drug programs as well as homeless shelters, but the people have to be willing to use these programs. Did you know that Soldiers Angels also works with VA hospitals and centers to provide needy items to our vets? In OK, many of the SA backpacks go to the homeless vets who frequent the VA.

Funny that you should mention being skeptical about a homeless man’s service. I actually knew a man (a long time friend) in Albuquerque who begged on street corners, selling small veteran’s flags. He claimed to be a Vietnam vet, but had never seen any military time whatsoever. He actually made a living this way. Personally, I found it disgusting, and it made me wonder if there were others like him.

LT Nixon said...

Bag Blog,

I agree you can't force someone to not engage in destructive behavior, but the government is responsible for taking care of these people because of their veteran service, and right now the system is clearly not working as it should be. Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in limited government, but vets benefits is a different ball of wax. That's good stuff about the Soldier's Angels, thanks for your comment.

Josh Lanier said...

Great blog, great posts & comments.

Homeless Vets need immediate assistance and public awareness, even while the VA and others are getting their act together. That's why I've decided to make this a lead issue, including actually raising and delivering resources to homeless assistance groups, of my campaign for the U.S. Senate in Georgia.

To get this started even before the campaign kickoff in early April, we started a group -- Just Do Right --on Facebook last evening (3/4)http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10465816197. And there's lots more to come.

You may never see it again, but this campaign will challenge the status quo of big money politics and divert political money to support our homeless Vets. It's the new patriotism. And about time.

Check it out and help us spread the word.

And keep up the great work on this blog.

Josh Lanier
Viet Nam Vet
U.S. Army