While Memorial Day isn’t about living veterans (we have a whole other day for that… though almost nobody gets that day off of work), I saw a lot of people on social media and the television yesterday thanking veterans for their service. This, technically, includes me.1
And yet we keep seeing stories like this one from American Progress. The caption to the photo includes this sentence:
Nearly 1 in 7 homeless adults are veterans as of December 2011.
That’s of all homeless adults2. Not bad enough for you? Go read the rest of the statistics. They’re horrifying. Especially when you consider that food stamp usage at commissaries has been up for four years running.
I’m not saying we need to toss more money at DoD. I’m saying that these veterans are fellow citizens. They’re trained. They’re disciplined. None of the normal stereotypical excuses about “poor people” apply.
And they’re having massive problems. And they’re the poor people we supposedly care about.
Remember that when there’s a talking head up there spouting some bullcrap ideology about what “poor people” are like. Remember they’re talking about veterans too.
And maybe that puts their argument in a little bit different light. And maybe we can stop using hateful stereotypes and actually fix our country and take care of all our citizens.
1I spent nearly all my time in the military in hospital units, and I really don’t think it’s fair to compare my time in service to someone who was, say, a combat engineer like my grandfather, so please don’t thank me. I don’t think I deserve it.
2Side note: I now have a special level of annoyance for my acquaintances who talk about “those places with the homeless” as if it’s a leper gangsta colony.