Homelessness a threat for Iraq vets
Democrat U.S. Senator calls for hearings on End-of-Life Care Guide for Veterans
Troubled Homecoming for America's Military Veterans
War experiences of a combat veteran
Honorably discharged vet mocked in Supreme Court documents for having PTSD
Operation Victor Hotel:
Homelessness a threat for Iraq vets
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Lost our Vet to PTSD 5 weeks ago...Help us combat this killer!
Homelessness a threat for Iraq vets

By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer Tue Jul 4, 1:13 PM ET

NEW YORK - Herold Noel had nowhere to call home after returning from military service in Iraq. He slept in his Jeep, taking care to find a parking space where he wouldn't get a ticket.

"Then the nightmares would start," says the 26-year-old former Army private first class, who drove a fuel truck in Iraq. "I saw a baby decapitated when it was run over by a truck — I relived that every night."

Across America on any given evening, hundreds of veterans of the wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan like Noel are homeless, according to government estimates.

The reasons for their plight are many. For some, residual stress from daily insurgent attacks and roadside bombs makes it tough to adjust to civilian life; some can't navigate government assistance programs; others simply can't afford a house or apartment.

They are living on the edge in towns and cities big and small, from Washington state to California and Florida. Some of the hardest hit are in New York City, where housing costs "can be very tough," says Peter Dougherty, head of the federal government's Homeless Veterans Program. Studio apartments routinely exceed $1,000 a month — no small sum for veterans trying to land on their feet.

As a member of the National Guard, Nadine Beckford patrolled New York train stations after the Sept. 11 attacks, then served a treacherous year in the Gulf region.

But when she returned home from Iraq, she found her storage locker had been emptied of all of her belongings and her bank account had been depleted. She believes her boyfriend took everything and "just vanished."

Six months after her return to America, she lives in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, sharing a room with eight other women and attending a job training program. Her parents live in Jamaica and are barely making ends meet, she says.

"I'm just an ordinary person who served. I'm not embarrassed about my homelessness, because the circumstances that created it were not my fault," says Beckford, 30, who was a military-supply specialist at a U.S. base in Iraq — a sitting duck for around-the-clock attacks "where hell was your home."

It was a "hell" familiar to Noel during his eight months in Iraq. But it didn't stop when he returned home to New York last year and couldn't find a job to support his wife and three children. Without enough money to rent an apartment, he turned to the housing programs for vets, "but they were overbooked," Noel says.

While he was in Iraq, his family had lived in military housing in Georgia.

In New York, they ended up in a Bronx shelter "with people who were just out of prison, and with roaches," Noel says. "I'm a young black man from the ghetto, but this was culture shock. This is not what I fought for, what I almost died for. This is not what I was supposed to come home to."

There are about 200,000 homeless vets in the United States, according to government figures. About 10 percent are from either the 1991        Gulf War or the current one, about 40 percent are Vietnam veterans, and most of the others served when the country was not officially at war.

"In recent years, we've tried to reach out sooner to new veterans who are having problems with post-traumatic stress, depression or substance abuse, after seeing combat," says Dougherty. "These are the veterans who most often end up homeless."

About 350 nonprofit service organizations are working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans.

But the veterans still land on a hard bottom line: Almost half of America's 2.7 million disabled veterans receive $337 or less a month in benefits, according to the government. Fewer than one-tenth are rated 100 percent disabled, meaning they get $2,393 a month, tax free.

"And only those who receive that 100 percent benefit rating can survive in New York," says J.B. White, a 36-year-old former Marine who served with a National Guard unit in Iraq. His colon was removed after he was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis, which civilian medical experts believe started in Iraq under the stress of war.

"I'd be homeless if it weren't for the support of my family," says White, who is trying to win benefits from the VA. He also helps others, like Beckford, as head of a Manhattan-based social service agency that finds non-government housing for vets.

Noel now attends a program to get work in studio sound production. He was the protagonist of the documentary film "When I Came Home," which was named best New York-made documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.

Just after the news reports about his plight, he learned the government was granting him the 100 percent disability compensation he sought — after being turned down.

Noel doesn't blame the Army, which "helped make my dreams come true," he says, recalling the military base life in Georgia and in Korea that his family enjoyed before his deployment to Iraq.

"I had a house, a car — they gave me everything they promised me," he says. "Now it's up to the government and the people we're defending to take care of their soldiers."


On the Net:

VA's Homeless Veterans Program: http://www1.va.gov/homeless

The below picture is worth 10,000 words...!   GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY.   Please press the link below the picture to see a larger copy and the story behind it.
HOLLYWOOD NEWS:  Oliver Stone recruits Bruce Willis for My Lai massacre film

----- Original Message -----
Subject: Homeless Veterans

 I have a small organization in Grand Rapids MI called Operation Victor Hotel. We are small but highly motivated group of musicians and veterans dedicated to helping the 194 homeless veterans in our small city.    Below is a list of veteran friendly business in Grand Rapids.
I wanted to share a story with you and the readers of your site. I wish it were a pleasant story. Last weekend we held a benefit for the veterans home in our city. We worked nonstop for six weeks to promote and collect donations for the auction we were having. The first places we hit were the business around town that had the "we support our troops" signs in front of there stores. Of the 50 plus places we went to not one of them would even donate a twenty dollar gift cirtificate to help out our veterans. Of all the radio, TV and newspapers in and around our town only 1 responded to our calls and ran ads for us.  We also plastered the town with over 1000 fliers. The night of the benefit 8 people showed up to enjoy the music and support our veterans. We raised a total of $100 for the night.
For all the grandstanding by people in this country, we are shocked by the indifference of the American people that enjoy the freedoms that our troops have provided for them.
Our troops have slept in trenches, in the snow and rain with bullets and bombs flying around them. It is absolutely unacceptable that they have to return to the lives that they gave up to sleep in the streets again.
We are now a little wiser but our spirit and goals have not been broken. Hang on guys we are on our way.
Here is a list of veteran friendly business in Grand Rapids.  If you would like to be added to the list let us know. If you use services that one of these business provide show them the love they have shown for our veterans.
The Grand Rapids Rampage
Oldies 98.7
WLAV 96.9
Fine Touch Hair Nails and Massage In Caledonia   (Email)  finetouchtips@aol.com
Jen Keller Massage Therapist  http://www.jenkellerCMT.com
The Jaguar Band
PureGR.com Grand Rapids Real news source www.puregr.com
West Michigan Biker. com http://www.westmichiganbiker.com
Bridge Street Pizza
Creations of Red   http://www.creationsofred.com
Franklin Press
Our veterans went to war for us.   Now we are going to war for them.

From: MSN Nicknamepapadroog  (Original Message) Sent: 9/27/2006 3:14 AM

Operation Victor Hotel is a charitable organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans get back on their feet. Currently in Grand Rapids there are 194 homeless veterans.   We will be holding our first meeting on October 9th at 7pm at the Lexicon Club (209 Lexington) to discuss the course the organization will take.   We hope to have representives from the Veterans Affairs office, local homeless shelters and some veterans to help us define our path.

If you would like to help, please contact me at papadroog@yahoo.com or my phone number at 616-532-6838 or you can talk to me at the benefit on Saturday.

Thanks Fred

Robert Correale, Esq, his Law Firm, MAYNARD & TRULAND and their state government supporters participated in what can only be described as deplorable malfeasance, which caused severe emotional and physical distress to a disabled veteran.    http://www.americans-working-together.com/attorney_ethics/id22.html