Monday, August 8, 2016

Vietnam Veteran Will Not Give Up On Their Brothers

When I took some time off the end of July to spend with family in New England, I was supposed to be unplugged and just relaxing. I was walking around Portsmouth when I came upon a strange thing.  
Naturally I had to stop and talk to him while my daughter gave me the look like, "You're supposed to be off this weekend." It turns out that Peter MacDonald is a Vietnam Veteran.  As you know, that is the generation everyone forgets about and the one that got me started doing this work.  
They came home with the same wounds all the other generations did but they decided to fight to have it treated.  You know, the things everyone seems to think only happens to the OEF-OIF generation. 

They came home and fought to have PTSD diagnosed and treated as well as compensated for this wound.  They came home and ended up homeless walking the streets, living in the woods and depending on anything a kind heart bothered to share with them.

These were the numbers of veterans most walked away from.
Approximately 40% of homeless men are veterans, although veterans comprise only 34% of the general adult male population. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates that on any given night, 200,000 veterans are homeless, and 400,000 veterans will experience homelessness during the course of a year (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 2006). 97% of those homeless veterans will be male (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2008). The National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients reports that veterans account for 23% of all homeless people in America (U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Urban Institute, 1999).

They suffered when no one else was looking. 
As the public has once again decided to cross the street instead of offer even a smile, they have proven how magnificent they really are.  They still haven't give up on the rest of the people in this country. They sure as hell are not giving up on each other.
It makes them very sad that with all the talk about helping the younger veterans, no one is talking about helping them, but not for the reason you may think.  They are sad knowing that the younger generation would not have to be going through the same suffering they did had all of us paid attention when they came home.
I was glad I stopped because this veteran was once homeless himself and decided that after he had been helped to get back on his feet, he would do the same for others.

I looked online and found a news report about him. Here it is.
Former Homeless Vet Vows To Help Others By Building Tiny Homes
By Chantee Lans
July 12, 2016

LEE, N.H. (CBS) – Peter MacDonald served as a Marine sergeant in Vietnam in the 1970s. He became homeless when he returned to New Hampshire.

“A person who became my friend found me. He was a Vietnam veteran that got back a year before me and realized what I was going through when he found me living under dumpster in Dover,” explained MacDonald.

He and his wife later met through his veteran rehabilitation services. Three years ago, they used their retirement money and life savings and held fundraisers to start a non-profit called Veteran Resort Chapel. The goal is to build 12 tiny homes on 11-acres of land for homeless combat veterans.

“This is something that should’ve been done years ago and I really hope that other people will see the idea of tiny homes for homeless combat veterans to given them a chance to find themselves to come home mentally as well as physically,” said MacDonald.
read more here

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