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Author:  Catherine [ Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:49 pm ]

[url=]Vets on the Street: Hundreds of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are ending up homeless. How could this happen?

Young, alienated and often living on their own for the first time, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans increasingly are coming home to find that they don't have one. Already, nearly 200,000 veterans—many from the Vietnam War—sleep on the streets every night, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. But young warriors just back from the Mideast—estimated around 500 to 1,000—are beginning to struggle with homelessness too.

This is sad enough if these vets were coming home from a legitimate war. But for it to happen after their return from a war that was begun due to the lies and deceit on the part of their Commander-in-Chief is downright criminal. :evil:

Author:  Bilbo37 [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:28 pm ]
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VA system ill-equipped to treat mental anguish of war

So, we need to deal with homeless Veterans, which I think should never be said together. We also need to deal with things like the link above..

Author:  DO.g's [ Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:47 pm ]
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Excellent posts and great info from bilbo's post. In my searching I found all kinds of info as well on many aspects of this problem. Read these also to get a scope of the problem.

-National Coalition of Homeless Veterans.
PL100-77 signed into law on July 22, 1987 known as the "McKinney Act" provided a definition of homelessness that is commonly used because it controls the federal funding streams.
Excerpt from PL100-77: Sec. 11302. General definition of homeless individual
For purposes of this chapter, the term 'homeless' or 'homeless individual or homeless person' includes -
(1) an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and (2) an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is -
(A) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill);
(B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
(C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Here's the current manual for eligibility-
-details of eligibility criteria for VA compensation and benefits, view the current benefits manual at:

A survey of the homeless in America, including the homeless veteran-
- National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC), which was completed in 1996 and updated three years later. You can visit

Here's some figures from the previous URL.
Veteran Specific Highlights:
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
Service needs:
45% help finding job
37% finding housing

Each year, 2.3 million to 3.5 million people experience homelessness in America. By taking 23% of that range for veterans, that would indicate there are between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans who are homeless at some time during the year

Here are some other facts about homeless veterans-
-4 % are females
-the vast majority are single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities.
-45% suffer from mental illness
-50% have substance abuse problems.

America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom, or the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America.
-47% of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam Era.
-67% served our country for at least three years and 33% were stationed in a war zone.

Here's a blog that deals with the PTSD dilemma-

Check out the first entry about Gen Clark
An invitation to be the first to read the opening installment of a new series on combat PTSD appearing this morning on General Wesley Clark's Clark Community Network blog. You may remember this team for their gripping traumatic brain injury (TBI) series on the 'signature wound' of the Iraq War.

The signature wound. Wow!

Gen Wesley Clark writes on PTSD-
Hurricane Katrina ravages the Gulf Coast in 2005 while an earthquake savages Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. In 2004, a crushing tsunami rises out of the Indian Ocean. A terrorist attack paralyzes a nation on a mid-September morning in 2001. Every two minutes, an American is raped. Over six million are involved in car accidents annually. One to three million are victims of domestic violence in our country every year. And then there are those who are sent to combat. All are susceptible to something we call PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder.

Next month, on March 19, 2007, we arrive at the four-year mark of the start of the Iraq War. Seven months later, on October 7, 2007, six years will have passed since the war in Afghanistan began. Since then, nearly 1.5 million American men and women – representing about one half of one percent of the nation’s total population – have worn our nation’s uniform and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom. Nearly 3,200 have been killed in action thus far, and over 23,000 have been wounded.

In addition, nearly 150,000 have filed disability claims; over 100,000 of which have been granted, with another 30,000+ claims pending review. It is estimated that between 500 and 1,000 OEF/OIF vets are already homeless. Many have multiple deployments under their belts. For now, at least 38,000 returning troops carry invisible marks on their souls of one degree or another and are being treated by the Veterans Administration for psychological injuries once labeled nostalgia, shell shock or combat fatigue. Today we call it post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Like bilbo said- 2 words that should never be said together! This is a terrible problem that has only one cure- no more war!

Thanks Catherine and bilbo for informing us through this thread. All of us are very much culpable for this and so we are responsible for solving this problem. We sent them there to defend us and as per history, we prefer to let the cripples beg at the gates than to show them how important their sacrifices really are. If this is what our fearless preaching leaders expect to get away with, then we should refuse to engage in their wars, unless they can prove that our freedoms and securities are under threat.

If that were the case, we would never go to war. There probably has never been a legitimate war for the reasons they tell us.

Author:  Catherine [ Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:58 pm ]
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What's being done by the leaders of this country for these wounded and demoralized troops after they come home is about as real as that plastic turkey Bush is seen holding on that "trip" he supposedly took to Iraq Thanksgiving of 2003: ... &start=240


I agree with Bilbo and DO.g's...homeless and veteran should never have to be said together. Here's another link to the plight of soldiers returning from Iraq:

[url=]Back from Iraq - and suddenly out on the streets

Author:  Bilbo37 [ Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:13 pm ]
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Thanks for the additional links to some sites.. I try to tell people that I know to write to their congressmen, or any local official that will listen..

What is the Next President going to do? I truly believe that they will have to institute some sort of draft.. All of these people coming home and not either, finding, getting, eligible, or are helped like they should be, are going to not want to step up and help Uncle Sam again..

They go and put their lives on the line, to turn around and get treated like this!!! It is hard, at least from my view, to want to fight for the Freedoms in America, when you see people getting pushed to the side when they get back.. :evil:

Author:  Bilbo37 [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:24 am ]
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Here is something else that may be of interest..

Army Times

Author:  Catherine [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:44 pm ]
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Veterans feeling Washington’s neglect

This commentary was written almost one year ago and addresses many of the same issues happening today, a year later. :evil:

Author: Julia Weaver

People's Weekly World Newspaper, 03/02/06


As more and more soldiers return from Iraq they are discovering help is limited. When dealing with the stress of returning to everyday life, many feel the Bush administration has failed to prioritize veterans services.

While the Veterans Administration (VA) is being criticized for its strained budget, VA officials claim budget shortfalls resulted from calculations made in haste during the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) appeals process. The OMB is under direct control of the Bush White House.

The VA suffered a $1.3 billion budget shortfall last year. After the fiscal year 2006-07 budget projections were published, Republicans and Democrats both called for congressional investigations by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO is the bipartisan investigative and auditing arm of Congress.

GAO investigations found that the VA’s budget was based on unrealistic assumptions, estimating errors and insufficient data. As a result, the VA ended up underfunded.

Not only is the VA underfunded, but over the past 10 years the need for veterans services has increased 49 percent. World War II, Korean and Vietnam War vets are often not factored into the VA’s budget. Unfortunately, budgets aren’t just numbers. They can mean the difference between mental illness and stability. When soldiers are discharged and finally go home, they realize life as they knew it is remarkably different.

“Historically soldiers are sent off to fight. They get medals and we call them heroes. But then we don’t take care of them,” Michael McPherson, national executive director of Veterans for Peace (VFP), told the World. “This has happened since the Revolutionary War.”

One of the biggest disabilities veterans face is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a psychological disorder affecting individuals who have experienced or witnessed profoundly traumatic events, such as wartime combat. The symptoms are characterized by recurrent flashbacks of the traumatic event, nightmares, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, forgetfulness and social withdrawal.

“Veterans work hard to return to normality. They don’t have adequate money or support, and dealing with PTSD in addition to putting their lives back together is painfully difficult,” said McPherson. Due to the lack of PTSD programs and VA hospitals, many veterans end up homeless.

With the cuts in VA services and the closure of veterans hospitals, vets are seeking treatment through civilian facilities. Instead of federal funding, state taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for vets’ services. And while working-class people don’t mind caring for vets, the rich are expecting permanent tax breaks from the Bush administration, adding to the VA’s budget shortfall.

As President Bush pushes to increase funding for the war in Iraq and decrease funds for veterans, the number of vets forced to seek help at civilian facilities is also going to increase.

The Bush administration needs to prioritize funding for veterans services. It’s their responsibility to care for returning soldiers.

Adding insult to injury, President Bush recently said, “A budget is much more than a collection of numbers. A budget is a reflection of a nation’s priorities, its needs and its promise.” Apparently, the president is not only misguided, he has also failed to keep his promise. And veterans are paying the price.

Julia Weaver is a media communications major at Webster University and an intern with the PWW in Missouri/Kansas



I followed a link to this story at Army Times, the link Bilbo provided, but the page had "gone AWOL!" :shock:



Author:  Bilbo37 [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:30 pm ]
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Any of the posts that I served at all had the same thought.. I will not make my troops do anything that I would not do myself..

I think that should be tattoed on the Pres' forehead..

Author:  DO.g's [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:51 pm ]
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I agree bilbo- that and "I'm Dick's Talking Head- A Dick Head"!

Notice that post "Soldiers told to keep quiet" states that

"Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media," one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.............The soldiers said they were also told their first sergeant has been relieved of duty, and that all of their platoon sergeants have been moved to other positions at Walter Reed. And 120 permanent-duty soldiers are expected to arrive by mid-March to take control of the Medical Hold Unit, the soldiers said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Army public affairs did not respond to a request sent Sunday evening to verify the personnel changes.

This is too much like forced compliance and again, to discourage whistleblowing and pointing out deficiencies between the reality and the perceived impression intended. It would have been justification for sending one to the Eastern Front in WW2, which was a death sentence. More pressures on our men to keep their mouths shut!

Hopefully those who were reassigned aren't being sent into the worst hotspots for their conscience, in trying to help their fellow soldiers who put their lives and limbs on the line daily. I don't think this is what they signed up for.

On another note- I think you once mentioned the draft bilbo. That is a dirty word in America ever since Vietnam. I think the parallels won't go away until my generation, that were teens in the 60's are dead and gone. I think that conscription will be implemented. If it is, then at 16-18 a youth, male and female, will be obligated to serve for 2 years in the military, to train for eventual combat. If it is everyone then it is fair. Many countries have this already and it prepares every citizen to defend the fatherland. I see this as an eventuality anyway and a great thing to instill some discipline and respect in today's youth.

But if it excludes those who go to universities, then conscription should not be permitted. What with the costs of university, that will become another elitist hiding place. Perhaps as a side effect of this, many universities will be forced to shut down due to diminishing enrollment, thus completing our understanding of the implementation of such policies as NCLB and the coincidental erosion of the middle class.

The education system will be seen as 2 tiered and will function as a gatekeeper to knowledge. The lower schools concentrating on adaption to purpose and the upper tier to make the message the meaning of life. In other words, the tools are the masses and the operators of the tools are their source of proper input/output. This is the return to a feudal system where the many are told what to do, what to believe and when to act accordingly.

People have to stand up before they're forced into this world war we're headed for. What would we give up as citizens to resolve these issues? Is it easier just to slip into ignorance and follow our country and its plans blindly?

Here's some quotes-

"The best defence [for a democracy, for the public good] is aggressiveness, the aggressiveness of the involved citizen. We need to reassert that slow, time-consuming, inefficient, boring process that requires our involvement; it is called 'being a citizen.' The public good is not something that you can see. It is not static. It is a process. It is the process by which democratic civilizations build themselves." John Ralston Saul

"Strong people don't need strong leaders." Ella Baker

"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone." James Madison

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” Edmund Burke

"Only the educated are free.” Epictetus

"The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." James Madison

"Who's more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?" Obi Wan Kenobi

The problem is the brownshirt mentality that goes with conscription or a draft. One should watch what one is being told, as it could be harmful to yours or anothers health and well being. Grooming for apocalyptic wars doesn't sound like a direction I would want to follow.

That is why we try and speak out against injustice- wherever it rears it's ugly head. Slashing at branches does nothing. We have to go for the roots of oppression, and that's when it gets ugly. Remember, "are you with us or are you with the terrorists"? Anyone who treats their own injured soldiers like this must be with the terrorists!

"Every civilizing step in history has been ridiculed as 'sentimental', 'impractical', or 'womanish', etc., by those whose fun, profit or convenience was at stake." Joan Gilbert

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." Paulo Freire

"You can't remain neutral on a moving train"- Howard Zinn

Author:  Catherine [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:00 pm ]
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At the present time I have a son who is serving in the Coast Guard, and my eldest son served four years in the Army, making two rotations to Kuwait. He was honorably discharged in August of 2003. What I can't fathom is how the parents of these neglected and...yes...abused soldiers can let this treatment of their sons and daughters go on without becoming Cindy Sheehan clones.

Tattooed on the prez's head? Good idea, Bilbo..and it should be carved across Dick Cheney's fat ass and tatooed on his neanderthalic forehead as well. I'd LOVE to see some members of their families have to go to Iraq and serve with the lowest enlisted person, beginning with the Bush twins, and including the troublesome children of Jeb Bush.

Author:  Bilbo37 [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:50 pm ]
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I remember, while being stationed in Egypt, a trip up to northern Egypt.. We saw a lot of youthful people that told us that they spend time in the military as part of their education.. (We were going through Isreal at the time)

Author:  Bilbo37 [ Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:58 pm ]
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Walter Reed General Loses His Command


Author:  Catherine [ Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:05 pm ]
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[url=]From Serving in Iraq To Living on the Streets
Homeless Vet Numbers Expected to Grow

It was a bad week for Aaron Chesley. He talked back to the staff at a Baltimore homeless shelter, got into an argument with a fellow veteran and missed an appointment for his post-traumatic stress disorder counseling session.

"Are you still watching the news?" his counselor, Anthony Holmes, asked.

Maybe that's what had set Chesley off. He had been showing progress since he came to the program last fall. But television footage from the war could cast him back in Iraq in an instant, back to fingering the trigger of his machine gun, scanning the horizon for insurgents. And Holmes knew it wouldn't take much for Chesley to land back on the streets.

"No. If the news is on, I turn my back," Chesley said.

In a homeless shelter filled with Vietnam War veterans, Chesley, 26, a former Catonsville High School honors student who joined the West Virginia Army National Guard in 2000 to help pay for college, was the only one in the facility who fought in the country's latest conflict. But across the nation, veterans of recent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are slowly starting to trickle into shelters, officials say.

Author:  Bilbo37 [ Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:22 pm ]
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Soon, very soon there are going to be a whole lot more of Vets in this situation.. :evil:

Author:  Catherine [ Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:27 pm ]
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I donate to the Disabled Veterans of America. They send me some cute address labels in return...not a bad investment!

If America doesn't begin to address this homeless vet problem very, very soon, it will be another social monster the government has created and can no longer control.

The American people should be ashamed. How do other countries treat their vets?

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