At "Residents 4 Arkansas" our mission is to help improve the rural and metropolitan communities of Arkansas by working with individuals in neighborhoods to solve their problems. Our primary goal is to give residents a loud voice by assessing the needs of individuals and families young and old alike, thus giving them the tools to work for REAL improvement!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
OUR HOMELESS VETS
To discuss the complex issues with which our military veterans are faced with, all one must do is take a brief look at the world in which they themselves live in. It's a crazy world to say the least, and I'm certain that many of you would agree. Upon closer look, you will find it to be extremely disorganized, violent and for the most part racially polarized. It is intriguing to know that almost 40% of homeless MEN in America today are in fact veterans of the military, meaning in a nutshell that they have fought for your freedom. The sad fact is that of this estimated 40%, almost 75% of those served in the Vietnam War. It is a known fact, that during the height of the Vietnam conflict our brave men and women tragically became addicted to drugs, due in no small part to the military’s very relaxed substance abuse policy of the time. Upon redeployment stateside, a great majority of these servicemen and women struggled daily with deeply entrenched dependency and abuse issues. As a result they were discharged (dishonorably) for the most part and hence the military’s failure to take care of their own. It was easier to just discharge the soldier than to worry about how to correct the problems associated with heavy ground combat, and the mental anguish associated with the loss of their comrades. The challenge that exists for the military today is to reexamine the individual cases of discharge for these Korea/Vietnam veterans and give them the treatment and benefits that many of them so rightfully deserve. After-all, the relaxed substance abuse policy of the time was what led to a majority of the problems which many of our older vets face. This is a fight which we intend as an organization to lead. We must FIGHT for those whose voices have been forgotten.
With Humble Regards
Kenneth Wade Aden
Director: "Residents 4 Arkansas" West Memphis Chapter