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Dear Veterans Affairs, We just want to talk: Signed The Vets

By       Message Cory Clark     Permalink
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The only difference is they aren't currently being told to get a job, while the jobs they were promised have disappeared or never existed, because the very people who demand they get a job won't do anything to ensure that there is a job for them to come home to, much less offer the counseling and other services they need to help them transition into civilian life and deal with the horrors of war.

Veterans, occupiers, and members of the Anarchist Alliance sat talking amongst themselves, holding signs screaming out the issues and their demands, among them the simplest of requests for the people to send someone out to talk to them, to listen, to understand.

Ducky did what she did best harassing the police and DHS Special Agents with a million and one seemingly random thoughts and questions. Finally she gave them a reprieve, ending her attack on authority with "what is the legality of using sidewalk chalk on the sidewalks here in Washington?"

Their tired reply was "if it isn't permanent, it's washable than I don't see a problem with it," then turned and walked away with their shoulders slumped in defeat.

While she skipped over to the bike lane and began drawing until she reached out into the street, leaving her political messages advocating Anarchism for all the world to see as they passed by. Perhaps she knows something that the rest of are ignoring: the only way to reach the Zombies is to put our messages on the ground in their path so that they have no choice but to see.

The DHS officers spent their downtime relaxing talking amongst themselves and to some of the journalists covering the protest.

Eventually, Frosty strolled over to our DHS overseers and handed them a miniature flier comparing the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan to the number of soldiers who have come home only to commit suicide. The death totals from suicides to combat deaths are nearly two to one: a blazing reminder of the cost of war.

If you can't afford us now you shouldn't have sent us then! by Cory V. Clark

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One of the many issues these veterans are demanding solutions for is the fact that of the nearly 300 million Americans, 9 percent of us are homeless, of that 9 percent, 25 percent of them are veterans. Too many of our veterans, both young and old, have come home to be told that they no longer have a home to come home to, because a bank has stolen it from them in their absence.

As if this wasn't a hard enough of a blow to endure, certainly a travesty in its own right, they have to come home to an economy that has been eaten away by the very profiteers, the same ones who took everything they have, have also taken the means for them to recover.

Veteran Suicide Rates by Cory V. Clark

And where is the V.A. in all of this mess, where are the ones who are supposed to help these veterans navigate all of the bureaucratic hoopla and buffoonery associated with government aid that should be theirs but for the simple asking, having already earned every penny of it anyways?

As I went sleep during the early part of the afternoon, a list of the names of some veterans who have committed suicide were read aloud: it took nearly a half hour to get through the list.

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The first time it was read to those passersby that wouldn't even give a moment of their time to mourn and honor these good men who made it back to the United States, but never really made it home.

The second time the list was read, it was not just for those present, but transmitted halfway around the world to the walls of the buildings around Tahrir Square in Egypt, the second reading was done at their request.

After we ate a bit of dinner, it was music and conversation into the night with members of Guitarmy.

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Cory Clark is an Independent Photojournalist and writer, focused on Civil and Human Rights issues, National and international politics, and Social Justice Movements. He is currently working to document the lives of the homeless from their (more...)

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