Today I had to stop by the post office to drop off an item I had sold on Ebay. Being that I work in Chicago wasn’t a post office far from where I work so I walked. On my way back from the post office I came across a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk reading a book. He had a small plastic cup and a sign which read “Proud Marine. Homeless Vet please help.” Being a member of the military I felt it my duty to help my comrade. I stopped by the nearest restaurant and picked him up a sandwich and apple juice. It was the least I could do to help someone who put their life on the line for this country.
Here in America we have a big problem, nearly 1 in 4 of all homeless people is veterans, and one third of those veterans were stationed in a war zone. How many people does that come out to be you may ask? “…the VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night” states the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. See, this is America’s hidden shame.
When I was in high school there were kids who would go to downtown Chicago (as I live in the suburbs) and pay homeless people to let the kids punch them. Video series have been created about bums fighting each other for some miniscule prize. Is this what we want for our veterans when they finish their service?
It is appalling that this goes unnoticed in a country where if you don’t support the current war you don’t support the troops, where your support for the military stops at paying taxes and having a bumper magnet that says “Support the Troops”. I know the economy is hard for most people right now, but would it really hurt you to spend $5 and give that homeless vet a decent meal? The solution to this problem starts with you, give them something to eat and then go to you’re elected representatives and tell them that this will not stand in America.