40. Dear VFW, DAV, Am. Legion, AmVet, et al.

If you are a member of any of these organizations as I am (and I am homeless though my American Legion membership is lapsed due to lack of funds), you have driven past me on the street. You have thought of me as a crackheaded alcoholic, a fake vet, and when I have walked into one post before, I was given a hairy eyeball. I show you my membership card, and some suspicious member will ask me where I am from. I will lie as I sip a beer I can ill afford, (after hiding my pack behind your dumpster) and say I am from somewhere else. I do not tell you I am homeless, and you would never suspect it either by looking at me.

In the state I was living before I was homeless (NC), I requested a ride to a medical appointment at the VA and never received a call back two days in advance, and I emailed as well. I later received an email back from a state coordinator and told to contact another post over 100 miles away.

Doing something about assisting homeless veterans is more than attending conventions in Las Vegas or Cincinnati and passing resolution 12 saying we will petition congress or the VA to do more. It means as well to get together at the local level, reach deeper. It is more than one chapter doing one thing a year somewhere and calling it good. It is more than a buffet dinner at a Golden Corral. One meal out of 365 days? I am sorry to say though that is for all Veterans but for the Homeless Veteran there are not many Golden Corrals nearby at times. I recommend all veterans go look at a homeless shelter at about 10pm. What a Joyful place! Now Veteran Homelessness is a 24 hour a day event to those it affects. It is hard to expect much though, I have been inside various posts across this nation where the leaders were fighting over Mr. Jones Life Membership because it might cost the post too much that year and where the annual membership drive is too important instead. By the way you can save some money and quit sending my magazine to me! I no longer have an address. I can eat for a week on $25.00 and the VA will spend $41.00 for me to share a night in a shelter filled with crack addicts that never served their country. No thank you.

In my 11 years of membership in these organizations, I have never heard homeless veteran uttered once. It was in print in a magazine article a couple of times but we rarely read the magazines do we (those HABAND pants ads just catch my attention ya know)? I know the organizations are totally voluntary and do a lot of things for veterans, but this baby has been sitting in the bath water a long time too. And of all issues out there, it has received the least attention of all.

I would like some of these organizations to pass this letter around and read the statistics on this site and or follow the site links on other sites listed here. I would appreciate the feed back. Even some hate mail if anyone disagrees. https://wanderingvets.wordpress.com/ Please feel free to copy this and email it to all your organizations. Please feel free to visit my site and read my posts on the subject, including some of the experiences and what some homeless have to do to survive.


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1 Response to “40. Dear VFW, DAV, Am. Legion, AmVet, et al.”

  1. 1 michael
    October 13, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Part of the problem is that homelessness, even among Veteran’s has become, in the minds of many, common place.

    Then of course, no one really wants to admit that this country, regardless of all the broo-ha-ha’s, still treats those who have served as disposible people.

    Hold true to what you know is right in your heart. That’s a dignity that no one can deprive you of – unless of course you allow them to.

    – michael –

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