Right now there are men and women overseas who are wearing protective gear and camouflage not because they want to make a fashion statement, but because at any moment there could be someone who has the desire to kill them and this gear can save their life. Every second these brave souls remain in harm's way is another second the enemy has to cripple them or, even worse, take them away from their families forever. Why have these heroes decided to put their lives on the line? The answer is simple... love of their country.
After this sacrifice how are these true patriots awarded when they return home? Here are some statistics:
• One of every seven homeless people in this country are Veterans
• 67,000 homeless veterans on average could be counted on any given night in January
• 1.5 million Veterans are at imminent risk of homelessness due to lack of support, poverty, and poor living conditions.
• Nearly 1 million U.S. Veterans reported being in poverty over the last year in 2010.
It doesn't appear that our veterans are getting red carpet treatment upon returning from laying their life on the line to keep our country safe.
I have known of these stats for quite some time and have been committed to doing what I can do to aide our troops. My skill set that I can contribute is financial literacy and helping them to manage their resources, which in many cases as we have seen from above is extremely limited, can be useful. However, I have found an organization that has taken aide to this population to another level.
On a cold winter day I am given a tour of a brand new home in the suburbs of Atlanta. The home has a fully refurbished kitchen, a huge backyard, four bedrooms, and is a great piece of property. This home was recently purchased by an organization called Save Homeless Veterans with the purpose of allowing as many as six homeless veterans to have a place to lay their head at night. While the stent they are able to live in this property is limited, these veterans are put in touch with many resources including myself to assist them to give a helping hand to get back on their feet again.
Save Homeless Veterans is filled with men who truly have a strong passion to helping this population. As I met with the people I realized this was an organization built mostly on the love of helping others. John Rocker, former Atlanta Braves pitcher, has been known to be in the news in the past for controversial statements. However, his actions in this organization are anything but controversial as Mr. Rocker has reached in his own pocket to purchase property for homeless veterans. You can even find him volunteering his time, speaking on radio and talk shows and then participating in a celebrity wrestling match in the evening to raise funds for the cause during the evening... all benevolent sides of him rarely captured by the public eye but mostly seen by those who know him.
The entire group working with Save Homeless Veterans is truly dedicated to the cause and their passion truly motivated me to give more. This organization is a true example of how we don't have to wait upon the government to create a solution... the people can provide solutions to those problems that plague our society. I am glad to be a part of this organization, I am glad to be a supporter of this organization, and may the mission be a beacon of light for all who have a desire to help support our troops who are returning home from overseas.