39. Point Man

Dear Wanderingvets and Friends:

As I was laying under the stars and having the restless thoughts of the many homeless brother veterans on the streets of this nation that have been out there for far longer than me, I have thought many have started this path with the same idealism as myself. Many have started with the same strength of purpose and vigor. Having the same hopes of championing this cause. I am wondering where they are now. I have thought about why when I look around why the Homeless Veteran does not have their own version of an Al Sharpton? Someone that is willing to come in and fire their mouth off whether it is right or wrong as he so often does for a sound bite. Where is our champion? I think I can explain.

We have a few. They are like the Operation Stand Down Operation in Nashville that operates fulltime with grants that they have to meticulously dot the i’s and cross the t’s for. There are smaller groups that reach out with limited resources when they can with little funds that are donated to them. They are the individual that gives a guy a ride unknowing he is a veteran. There is the VA that just tramples the homeless vet like the grapes of wrath. They cannot yell too loud as they are funding and good will dependant.

The rest were the Homeless Veterans and other Vets and some friends. Veterans that were trying to get themselves out of the hole the VA helped them get into and maybe get a few others out of that hole with them. When you leave a homeless veteran without a substance abuse or mental problem on the streets for untold years, you have added the chance he will leave that 30 percent bracket of non alcohol or drug and go to the 70 percent bracket of chemical abuse and mental disorder in a matter of time. I think the VA’s manner of triage might need to be analyzed, but it is a hard call. I am in the system as homeless and in the 30 percent so it is hard. We need a point man for the homeless vets! Someone that does not have a grant or tax exempt status to be leaned on. Besides what are they going to do? Take away my social security number? They are not doing anything with it anyways now.

Sometimes I might say something that is really stupid or not thought out correctly. Sometimes I will go back and re-read something that I have typed here and have to re-arrange it. These are problems that arise when one is writing behind a building while sneaking someone elses signal. Or speed typing in the dark under a dark piece of plastic at the moment. There are few places that a homeless veteran is asked to make a speaking appearance (current number is zero to date). In the Birmingham piece I laid out an adventure of what happened to me, that is just one occurrence, imagine how many times that happens every day to veterans unreported and to those less able to defend themselves. Yes I am angry for my brothers and upset for the conditions I have found some of them in. Something needs to be done more for our nation to hear them. WE NEED A POINT MAN OR MEN!

Your correspondent,

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1 Response to “39. Point Man”

  1. 1 - michael -
    October 13, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    As far as a “point man” is concerned, you’re on the right track.

    However, why ask that someone else take the point when you’re already in that position. Just keep doing what you’re doing by writing your blog.

    While it may take some time before your readership begins to grow, let me assure you that it will if you write from the heart.

    Remember, Toys For Tots started out as the dream of one man who wanted to make a difference. Look how far it’s come and how much good it does.

    As long as your remain vigilant, that’s what matters. But, you’re the one who has to believe that, regardless of what others say.

    Keep writing… if not for others, then for yourself.

    – michael –

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