Today is Memorial Day in the United States. A time when we remember those serving the United States who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is great that there are hundreds of volunteers cleaning up cemeteries, and attending memorials or parades. But what if we remembered those veterans who are largely forgotten by our society but not dead? There are large numbers of veterans who are homeless and living in isolation from our society including a large number of vets still from the Viet Nam era.
It has to be said that the federal government has done a lot to end veterans homelessness. We should all have this goal of finding housing for every American who can't afford a place of their own. They have created expanded outreach to veterans especially female veterans. They have created one stop centers to serve the population, and provided a small number of housing vouchers. They have created family prevention grants, and are doing a great deal more behavioral health care. But there is a lot more that we could do to heal those who served the United States during a war.
- We could have every active duty service man stationed in the United States take two weeks to resolve the backlog of claims made by veterans for disability/health care.
- We could pledge that no claim going forward will take longer than four weeks.
- We could provide housing vouchers to every single veteran living on the streets of America.
- We could provide comprehensive health care to every veteran no matter their discharge. We have to assume that most of the other than honorably discharged have something to do with what they saw or did while serving in a combat zone.
- We could guarantee a job to every veteran upon discharge from the service. If you give three years of your life to the US military, you should be able to have a job when you leave.
This would be a real special memorial day if we would resolve ourselves to remember those struggling with mental health issues, housing or employment right here on the streets of America. We should remember those whose talent we are losing. We should remember the veterans sleeping in the woods in Lorain County, and bring them back safely from the their extended deployment. We need to make this a truly happy memorial day.
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