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The US Obligation to Veterans

NGO Tackles Veteran Homelessness

It’s unconscionable that veterans are left to navigate a bureaucracy that even the bureaucrats often don’t understand. So many vets are mentally unstable and/or intellectually unable to comprehend the VA system. For many vets with addiction and homeless issues, filling out paperwork just doesn’t seem to be good use of their time. Like many people in survival mode, vets who need to find their next meal or a bed for the evening or the next hit/drink don’t see the value of a document that may or may not help them a year or more in the future.

“To care for him who shall have borne the battle” – A. Lincoln

President Lincoln’s words have stood the test of time, and stand today as a solemn reminder of VA’s commitment to care for those injured in our nation’s defense and the families of those killed in its service. On March 16, 2023, VA announced an updated version of its 1959 mission statement. The new motto will still be based on President Abraham Lincoln’s words but instead reads: “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.”

Even I, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from college, could barely make sense of the myriad rules, forms and requirements. I lucked out with an  outreach coordinator who was action oriented and chose to connect me with a therapist before filling out endless forms. She quickly made an appointment for me with someone who was experienced working with combat veterans and later pushed me to complete the process.

It took over a year to complete the process. If I had been homeless or addicted, that would have been another year on the streets. I could have easily become one more veteran statistic.


“To care for him who shall have borne the battle”

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