Natalie R. California

They Defended and Protected Us, Let’s Protect Them.

It is a shame that the people that protected us, aren’t being protected. Today 8.6 percent of United States veterans are homeless, and our country seems to do nothing about it. Let’s make a stand to protect those who protected us.

Congratulations on winning the election. As the daughter of a former Army captain, I am concerned about homeless veterans.

If your brother risked his life for this country, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of it, and then received no help from anyone when he needed it the most, wouldn’t you feel that was unfair? That is exactly what these veterans are feeling coming back from wars.

We should help homeless veterans because number one, they served our country, and number two some of the veterans are suffering from disabilities from their service.

Whether male or female, no matter what branch of the military they served in, veterans deserve our appreciation. Each one was willing to give their life in exchange for our freedom.

Between 130,000-200,000 veterans are homeless any night in America. That means nearly one fourth to one fifth of the homeless population are veterans which is far too many. We the people need to make it a priority to help the people who served our country because of the dedication to give their life to you, your mother, your father, your sisters and brothers, even your animals. Each and every one of you they were willing to give their life for. They deserve so much more than the be out on the streets in poverty. Many of the veterans that aren’t on the streets, are hungry, exhausted, or are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. There is the Veterans Administration, but it’s not doing enough. It’s time for citizens to unite and help. 

Veterans are more likely to become homeless due to the fact they are at a higher risk of having a low socioeconomic status, a mental disorder, and suffer from PTSD.

Veterans have extra difficulties returning to civilization because it’s harder for them to get a job, because their skills don’t transfer to the civilian world. In some instances, they are also traumatized or injured. How can we expect a human being to go through something traumatic, like Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan, and then come home and function as normal? Shouldn’t we have some compassion? Shouldn’t there be measures the government takes to make sure they can stand on their own two feet? 

Some people don’t spend enough time thinking about the subject of veteran homelessness. Some people struggle with compassion. They might say that everyone has troubles. Everyone has something to overcome. Those people have most likely never been to war.

As the daughter of former Army captain, I have been privileged to hear war stories my whole life. Upon researching veteran homelessness, I recall the intensity of the stories I’ve heard. The facts back it up: According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, “because of veterans’ military service, this population is at higher risk of experiencing traumatic brain injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both of which have been found to be among the most substantial risk factors for homelessness.

Every American citizen should have compassion for those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We must not ignore them. We must step up and help. So, let’s do more than just sit around and let it happen. Let’s make a difference.

 Natalie R.

Diablo Vista Middle School

Zhebel - English 8

Zhebel - English 8

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