Friday, December 26, 2008

How the U.S. Army ... made me question the "Salvation Army" ...

While working as a security officer in Uptown Dallas' West Village ... I worked evening's and out on the street ... unlike a security "guard" job ... it is very different ... because it's a nightlife district ... and you have to deal with many people from all different income level's, many folk's as well ... that simply just had too much to drink ... local's, tourist's ... you pretty much ... see them all. The ones that nobody likes seeing though seem's to be the homeless.

I got to know all those who were homeless as well and walked the street's looking for some change ... a quick cash job ... a bag of chip's ... a bump of dope or a drink ... or just simply a decent squat to catch a little sleep. You can meet 30 homeless folk's and talk with them ... and they all have a different story of how they got to where they are. And after awhile you get to see how difficult it really is to get out of that cycle once your caught in it. So to these folk's that look at them and chuckle or are sarcastic from a few drink's and tell them ... "Go get a job!" ... it's not as easy as you think. Many of these folk's had regular steady job's at once ... friend's family ... and a few pretty damn smart as well.

Two guy's that I seen nightly who were in this situation ... were both Veteran's of the U.S.Army ... both pulled active duty stretches in combat zones ... one served in the Viet Nam conflict ... the other younger guy served in Desert Storm. Both were willing and able to work ... and I managed to get them some odd and end's job's for cash and food here and there when I could, cleaning up ... or any miscellaneous quick cash gig's that could put a few buck's in their pocket ... and a couple meal's. The one who served in Viet Nam had a steady place he found to stay ... it was in a quiet secluded area of a nearby graveyard ... the other guy who served in Desert Storm ... stayed at various squat's around the area (vacant building's).

One of the thing's that caught my atencion ... and more than once amongst homeless that I had conversation's with ... but these two stood out ... because they both served in the Army ... was the fact that both at one time or another were turned away from a place to stay for the night by the Salvation Army Shelter on lower Hines Blvd. in Central Dallas. What I gathered from these and various homeless folk's was that you had to pay $7 to $10 a night for a bunk at this shelter. Why this caught my atencion? Because this is a non- profit organization ... that has some slogan about "caring and sharing" ... and these guy's in my opinion ... shouldnt have to pay a dime to get a bunk for the night. Their tax-exempt ... their all about loving thy neighbor and christian values ... they have a whole army of folk's ringing bell's in front of stores across the Metroplex and America this time of year ... I even hear them bell- ringer's get about $6 or $7 buck's an hour too.

Now I am sure there are alot of good folk's at the Salvation Army as well. I dont know much about them ... besides they offer alot of help at these disaster's and so forth along with other group's like the "Red Cross" and "FEMA" ... I personally never had any dealing's with them ... nor do I shop at their stores ... because once I was looking for a used file cabinet ... went in one of their stores ... and it cost as much if not more than one that is brand new! Never went back since. But I just dont understand these fee's to spend the night.

There are more homeless folk's out there on the street's that have served in some branch of our military at some time or another in their lives, than I realized ... I found. You see ... I dont feel that one veteran should have to ever be without a roof over their head ... for as long as they live in our country...especially a country as wealthy as our's. There should be location's throughout America to where at any time, any veteran should be able to get a meal and/or a bunk for the night if needed! Without NO CHARGE. These people served our damn country man! ... what the HELL is wrong with us?!! This in my opinion is pathetic! And Hell no ... I wont put a damn dime in a Salvation Army kettle either!

And this isnt only Dallas ... this is all over America ... in every metro area coast to coast. It is sickening to me ... that an Iraqi citizen can make a phone call ... and get U.S currency/ cash delivered to them if their in need or need a new needed appliance or whatever quicker than an American Veteran who pulled active duty in a combat zone can get a goddamn meal and a bunk for the night! And I hope that this is something that President Obama will address ... cause none of these other's with all their influence in Washington ... and hook-up's ... never seemed to do a damn thing about.

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