Operation Warm Hand: Homeless Veterans

You know, I served my Country.  I traveled extensively when I came home from my service and reflecting back am always grateful for not only a roof over my head, but clothes on my body.  It has always struck me as both obscene and short sighted when I look at many of the National’s manuals and their instructions for getting rid of everything.  Oh, I understand the time and safety issues; however, the reality is that the tremendous amount of recyclable materials which are disposed of each and every day could make a difference!  The VA actually has a Program called Operation Standown.  I have been both a recipient and donator and it is one of the best programs for helping veterans with the day-to-day necessities I can think of!

The Huffington Post reported:

Fighting in a war can be a harrowing experience, but imagine coming back and not being able to find a home.  More than one million veterans are at risk of becoming homeless, while tens of thousands of former servicemembers are already living without shelter, according to the Center For American Progress. In fact, one in seven homeless people previously served in the military, a December 2011 report found, and much of the other data surrounding homeless veterans are equally worrisome.

As the future of the veteran support systems hangs in the balance, a recent report found that, compared with other homeless people, veterans face even greater adversity. Former service members are 11 percent more likely to develop a life-threatening disease while living without shelter compared to their non-veteran counterparts.

I am reminded of a time when I was coming down from Montana to Utah for a building project.  I was younger then and had recently finished construction on a Cabin Project for a prominent Hollywood type.  I knew that a bus ticket would take a good chunk of my money and thought, “Heck, they didn’t kill me over there, I’ll be safe hitchhiking.”  By in large it was true; however, the elements almost did!  I stumbled into Laramie, Wyoming, just about to go into hypothermia.  After I was discharged from the hospital a Candstripper (older folks will know this term) took me over to a local clothing closet where I was provided a warm, down jacket.  It had a bit of paint on an arm, but let me teel you how thankful I was!  It saved my life as during the rest of the trip I went through three (03) more snow storms!

Each and every day we pass by the homeless amongst us.  Many turn their heads and mumble, “Get a job.”  Others sigh and wonder why the Government doesn’t do more.  A few, though, become pro active.  Money is not the solution!  What helps, though, is an idea which we are doing.  The clothing we would normally dispose of we try and get over to the local churches and the furniture we arrange (generally) to go to the Habitat For Humanity.

First, most of these places will give you a tax donation slip.  Second, many will arrange to pick items up.  Third, you are doing both an environmental service, by keeping items out of the landfill, and you are also helping out needy individuals!  Why not take fifteen (15) minutes out of your clean out to identify a few items which might be helpful to donate.  Even if you do not donate to a veteran’s association such as the Disabled American Veterans or Wounded Warrior Project (Profiled on our Site) please consider helping out with donating the materials which we normally dispose of and could be used to repair a broken life!

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