Salt Lake City, UT

Veterans Being Homeless Is a Sad Situation

S. F. Mori

They served their country to preserve freedom
American Flag(Image is author's)

Veterans' Day is just around the corner. It will be celebrated in the United States on Thursday, November 11, 2021. Veterans should be remembered and honored on their special day. Veterans served their country in order to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. They deserve respect and gratitude.

Veterans Day is always observed on November 11th with speeches, parades, and church services across the United States and in many places the American flag is hung at half mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. When the holiday first began, it had a different name, which was Armistice Day. [Wikipedia]

It is unfortunate that there are many veterans who are among the homeless population of the country. It is true in Salt Lake City just as it is throughout the United States. Because of problems these veterans have had since returning from their service, some find themselves homeless.

According to the 2015 American Community Survey, there are 18.8 million veterans in the United States, 9.3 million of whom were aged 65 and older. Transitioning from active military, naval or air service to civilian life can be extremely difficult, especially if there isn’t a support network available. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to adapt the benefits and programs they offer to honorably discharged veterans to fit the areas that they need assistance in the most. []
Homeless in Utah(Image is author's)

Homelessness is lacking stable and appropriate housing. People can be categorized as homeless if they are: living on the streets; moving between temporary shelters, including houses of friends, family and emergency accommodation; living in private boarding houses without a private bathroom or security of tenure. The legal definition of homeless varies from country to country, or among different jurisdictions in the same country or region. United States government homeless enumeration studies also include people who sleep in a public or private place not designed for use as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing due to income that is inconsistent or lacking altogether. Homelessness and poverty are interrelated. There is no methodological consensus on counting the homeless and identifying their needs; therefore in most cities only estimated homeless populations are known. [Wikipedia]
San Francisco, California(Image is author's)

We were once in San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf on a Veterans' Day. We went into a restaurant to have dinner. There were many empty tables, but they said there would be a wait of about half an hour. We thought that was strange, but then we found out the reason why. They serve free meals to veterans on that day each year. Veterans are allowed to reserve tables so the staff was waiting for the veterans to arrive. They had a special menu from which the veterans could order their free food. They could be any veteran, but some veterans were obviously homeless. They were welcomed and treated kindly. When they left, some said to the staff, "See you next year." It was a kind gesture to show the veterans that they were appreciated on their special day.

It is gratifying to see veterans treated with respect even if they happen to be homeless. They spent some years of their lives serving in the United States military to protect freedom. It is unfortunate that there are homeless among them.

Salt Lake City has some assisted living facilities which cater to veterans. The William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home is one such place where veterans may live for short term or long term care.

There are agencies and resources to help veterans throughout the country. Unfortunately, not all of the veterans are cared for as they should be.

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I am a retired President/CEO of civil rights organizations. I have been a Mayor and California State Assemblyman as well as a College Instructor of Economics. I have also been an entrepreneur and international business consultant. I will be sharing articles mostly about life, politics, racism, travel, health, and relationships.

Salt Lake City, UT

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