Letter to a Homeless Veteran

March 1st, 2017

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Dear Veteran,

I’m saddened that veterans are homeless in the richest nation on Earth. You served this country, risking your life for our freedoms, and seem to be so easily forgotten. Do you feel invisible? It would be inconceivable to me if I did not witness it with my own eyes. I learned that 11 percent of America’s homeless population are veterans. Many of our heroes have fallen, and we step over them. I believe it’s our duty to care.

I’m sure we agree with our nation’s core truths about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You served and some fought defending those words. So, what went wrong? How does this happen? How can I be a better advocate?

I’m sorry your country was not there for you the way you were there for your country. I’m sorry that the promises given to every citizen did not apply to you. I’m sorry our country’s trade agreements and foreign aid were more important than your well-being after being discharged. I’m sorry for ignoring you, and believe we all share in the blame for your homelessness or possible death while living on the streets.

Here I am, safe, healthy, happy, while you struggle to survive. We need to provide you with resources to help you overcome your issues and have a good life.

From this day forward, each time I see a homeless person I will ask them if they served our country, and if so thank them for their service, and beg their forgiveness.

Join your neighbors in connecting local veterans, active military, and their families to critical resources. Northwest Compass and Evanston Vet Center will host a Veterans Resource Fair in our Mt. Prospect offices on Saturday, March 18th.

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About the Author
Mary Kay Thill
Mary Kay is a writer with a background in Family Counseling addressing the homeless issues in the Chicagoland Northwest Suburbs. We encourage you to join the conversation by posting your comments and experiences from your own community work and living.

We'd like to hear your thought and ideas. Leave a private suggestion or comments at blog@northwestcompass.org.

Do you have a passion for creating change in your community? You are invited to attend the upcoming Youth Action Forum on Wednesday,
March 21,2018 at 4pm.
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