Saturday, July 7, 2012

Iraq Veteran Marine homeless in St. Augustine with Combat PTSD

Last night there wasn't much on TV so we did a pay-per view Big Miracle about whales facing death, trapped beneath the ice in Alaska. A reporter told the story on local news, people knew about the problem, cared enough to try and do something about it. As a filler for national news, the entire country knew about these whales and the people trying help them survive. Then the world knew. They took action to save them.

No one blamed them for ending up the way they did or settled for just letting them die there. No one complained about how much money it would take to save three whales or how much it cost to travel there to tell the story. Sure, greed got involved when some thought it would be great public relations to get involved but in the end, even the greedy CEO managed to care more about the whales than himself.

Wouldn't it be really a big miracle if the same thing happened for our veterans trapped beneath a frozen society allowing them to suffer? How is it people moved heaven and earth to save three whales but we don't do much when veterans end up homeless?

Former Marine on the streets, frustrated with delays in getting help
11:09 PM, Jul 6, 2012
Written by
Mike Lyons

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Former Marine Sgt. Mark Reynolds is a homeless veteran who can often be seen walking through St. Augustine, frustrated his pleas for help are going unanswered.

"I don't like living like this," said 33-year old Reynolds.

Reynolds served in Iraq 14 months and was involved in the seize of Fallujah in 2004 during one of the major battles of the Iraqi war. Now he roams the streets of St. Augustine, dealing with the problems of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

"I have some nightmares here and there, sometimes the clarity of thought isn't quite where it should be. I am startled easily, there are a lot of things that are a little bit strange. It's difficult for me to enjoy life the way I used to be able to enjoy life. I don't like crowds or loud places."

Reynolds pitches his tent wherever he can at night, whether it is on a lawn or the woods or wherever he can. He has a part-time job he loves at Home Depot, but the income is just enough for food, a cell phone, and a storage unit for a few belongings, not enough for a roof over his head.
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