By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Sports Editor
While ACU students trudge back and forth between the Campus Center and the Administration building Monday, the rest of the country will be celebrating Veterans Day.
And while the majority of the millions of veterans in this country are honored, 195,800 will spend their national holiday on the streets – without a job, without a home and twisted by the tragedy of war.
According to a report released by the National Association to End Homelessness (NAEH), nearly 200,000 veterans have turned to the streets, and tragically little is being done to amend the situation.
Of the sample of homeless veterans, Texas is third. The NEAH counted 15,434 homeless veterans in the Lone Star State in 2005 and 15,967 homeless veterans in 2006 -.96 percent of the 1.6 million veterans in Texas.
In the admissions department terms, that would be about three times the number of students attending ACU.
The NEAH estimates the number of homeless veterans will increase dramatically with the hoards of traumatized Iraq War veterans returning to their homeland. And because there is a larger chance for posttraumatic stress disorder in our current war’s veterans, the chance for chronic homelessness increases dramatically.
Although Nov. 11 is a day reserved for reverence and veneration of the men and women who protect our freedoms, almost 200,000 veterans are looking for a place to sleep and wondering why no one cares about the sacrifice they made. We cannot let this continue.
A day to appreciate our country’s veterans is important, but a handful of homeless veterans want more than a day, they want a second chance.
This war is unjustified and never should have been fought, but its soldiers do not deserve the fate of homelessness. We should welcome our soldiers with open arms, and our government should do its duty: helping the people who are so damaged they cannot help themselves.
After fighting a war that the majority of the country does not back, do we really want our soldiers to be forced to scrounge for survival on our rich country’s judgmental streets? Have we become so indifferent to the people sacrificing for us?
Do not let the homeless veterans be forgotten; tell our congressman Randy Neugebauer to support initiatives that make sure our veterans get a shot at having a normal life.
Monday when you’re watching “Saving Private Ryan” and putting off your project due Thursday, remember our veterans.
But more importantly, remember the abandoned soldiers living on the streets.