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Spring has arrived. The days are longer and the weather warmer. Most of us thrill to the renewing of the earth with the budding of flowers and trees crowning out with newly green leaves. We go out into it from our homes to spend a pleasant afternoon or evening walking along the beach or down some narrow hiking paths in a local park. All feels new and pleasant, even liberating. We are released from the confines of our homes where we hunkered down in the warmth through the long winter days and nights.
This is not the experience of those who are homeless. Every day is the same. The sameness measures their days with a monotonous routine through every season of the year. The efforts to find a warm spot to sleep, to get to a place to get some food before the meager donated supplies have run out. Their lives plod between the bridges, in alleyways where they spent the nights sleeping furtively, surrounded by noise and the refuse of restaurants and downtown businesses. The threat of danger is never far away.
The demands of mere survival exact a greater toll on them than most of us can imagine. They spend out their days among us anonymously. We pass them by without even noticing them, or avoid them by crossing the street. When we find ourselves unable to avoid them, we do everything possible not to look in their eyes, fearing that they might speak to us, ask us for money, or invite us into their sometimes schizophrenic worlds. We don't want to know them. We don't even want to admit that they are there.
Among those many homeless in the streets of our cities are veterans who have for one reason or another, fallen through the cracks. Most of them today are Vietnam era veterans, but there are many who are veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They are men and, for the first time in our history, too many of these homeless veterans are women. There are many reasons, of course, for their homelessness. Many of those are temporary and are the result of the economy. But the fact remains that for them, the world is a lonely and often dangerous place. Whatever the reason for their homelessness, it is a shame that we as a society have not found a way to care for these veterans of our wars.
You can help us here at TheVeteransSite to provide healthy meals for many of our homeless veterans by visiting every day and clicking on the "Click Here To Donate, It's Free" button. You can become involved with local efforts in your own hometown to affect the lives of these veterans positively. Spread the word about this site to your friends as well. The need is great. The time is now. Thank you for your help.