Veterans Make Up One Quarter of US Homeless, Here Are Some of Their Stories [VIDEO]
A recent AP article released sobering numbers about our nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s veterans: they make up 25 percent of homeless persons, while representing just 11 percent of the overall population.
The data is already a couple of years old, which does not bode well for the future:
Some advocates say such an early presence of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at shelters does not bode well for the future. It took roughly a decade for the lives of Vietnam veterans to unravel to the point that they started showing up among the homeless. Advocates worry that intense and repeated deployments leave newer veterans particularly vulnerable.
"We're going to be having a tsunami of them eventually because the mental health toll from this war is enormous," said Daniel Tooth, director of veterans affairs for Lancaster County, Pa.The image of a healthy soldier returning from war, physically and mentally unscathed, is a fiction. If we are to demonstrate our true patriotism, then we must rehabilitate the present and future lives of those veterans who carried the biggest burdens of our declarations of war.
When I Came Home is a documentary which follows the lives and struggles of several homeless veterans, including those who have recently returned home from the war in Iraq. The film examines the factors which led over 150,000 Vietnam veterans from the battlefield to the street and asks the question: Will what happened to Vietnam veterans happen to a new generation of soldiers? The film also focuses on the veteran-led movement which is fighting to end this national disgrace. Check out the video to your right for some scenes from the film.