I was walking out of a grocery store recently when a homeless man approached me and said, "Excuse me sir, I'm trying to buy some food. Can you help me out?" After talking to him for a few minutes, I discovered that he was a Vietnam War veteran. I gave him a few dollars knowing that my humble contribution might help him eat today. But what about tomorrow?I only repeat those stats because Chaplain Key did - but I don't buy them?
Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the USA, though they are only 11% of the general population, according to The Alliance to End Homelessness.
There are myriad reasons for these dismal numbers: limited access to affordable housing, inadequate health care and employment instability. But many cases are fed by the fact that displaced and at-risk veterans often live with the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse. These are the hidden costs of fighting a war.
They guy Chaplain Key talked to may have been a Vet, but odds are he was not telling the truth. To start, I would recommend that Chaplain Key and everyone else buy and read Stolen Valor, specifically the chapter on "homeless Vets."
The facts may be hard to accept, but in the book they are all put out there. It is best to run with the cold facts, and not to spread the lie that those you serve with are damaged goods.