If there’s one “bipartisan” issue in this country both sides can agree on, it’s that our military and our veterans deserve universal and unconditional praise for their service to our country. Well, unless you’re GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who publicly stated nearly a year ago that he doesn’t consider members of our military who were POWs heroes. His actual words concerning POWs were “I like people who weren’t captured,” while also mocking the fact that anyone would consider someone a hero for simply being captured.
Just to reiterate, the Republican party has as its nominee for president a man who literally said he doesn’t consider POWs war heroes.
I’m sorry, I got a little sidetracked there. It’s just shocking to me that a presidential candidate mocked and belittled a legitimate war hero (and basically everyone who’s ever been a POW), yet still managed to win the nomination for one of nation’s largest political parties.
But while rhetoric concerning our veterans is often easy to come by, year after year our veterans continue to suffer while often very little gets done to actually help these brave men and women who’ve defended this country.
Well, not this time.
On Friday, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor announced that the city had effectively ended veteran homelessness.
The pledge, made in January 2015, specified the city would offer housing to all homeless veterans. It doesn’t guarantee everyone will take up the offer, but does imply that those who do take it up will be given not just a roof over their heads, but a lease, furniture, bill assistance, and other services.
Though with some veterans still out there who haven’t taken the city up on the program, officials admit that there’s still plenty of work left to do.
“There’s always one more,” said Kathy Lacy, a case worker with the American G.I. Forum National Veteran’s Outreach Program. “If I have to go to them 99 times, the 100th time that I go to them is when they’re going to come in.”
In a world where the news is seemingly always negative, I love getting to write about these types of stories – especially when they involve helping veterans.
While it’s impossible to force every homeless veteran in the city to come forward to seek help, the city should be praised for following through with its promise to establish a system where any veteran who wanted help would get it. Though as Ms. Lacy said, there are still plenty of veterans out there who, for whatever reasons, are reluctant to seek out this help. This is why people in her position, those folks working tirelessly trying to convince these veterans to get this help, should be commended by all of us. I’m sure it’s a job that is as equally heartbreaking as it is rewarding.
But the entire city of San Antonio should be commended for making this pledge and following through with its promise to do what it can to help get our veterans off the street, into a home and provide them with enough assistance to hopefully get back on their feet.