Sunday, May 15, 2011
WOMEN VETERAN'S: Our "Forgotten Heroes" ... Living in the Street's of America ... for "Veteran X" (Veteran's Spotlight PT.11)
For this posting of "Veteran's Spotlight PT.11", it is actually another past due since I been planning this one for a few month's at least. But will look at another rising issue not addressed as much as I feel should concerning homeless Veteran's. Again, these posting's are not to depress anyone, but to enlighten. When some folk's think of homeless Vet's, they think of fella's usually first ... but women homeless Vet's are increasing quite rapidly too. But first a couple vid's below, then a link for resource's, a tad of read and link's from HuffPost on it, a "homeless" posting from earlier in the journal, then a story I wanted to share of my own, dedicated to a Vet that had more problem's after she came back home from Iraq, than she had in Iraq's battlefield's.
"VETERAN'S SPOTLIGHT" PART'S 10 THRU 1 HERE
Struggling Female War Vets ... Thanx to CBS
NATIONAL COALITION for HOMELESS VETERANS
HUFFPOST IMPACT: "Homeless Women Veterans need more clinical resources open ears"
"POVERTY AND DESPAIR" ... Another homeless posting and case from the street's
Back around 5 year's ago, I had a job I was offered through a friend to work security for a group of 5 owner's of nightclub's/ restaraunt's in Uptown Dallas' West Village, an evening/ night job, for when these joint's are active most heavily. I worked with a few other commissioned and non commissioned officer's as well as a few contract moonlighter DPD officer's who done a lil side contract work too for extra buck's, and actually was quite an exciting job, free food/ drink's (drinx of course after off- duty), met alot of folk's nightly, etc ... in a way I miss it actually, but frankly at over 50, I cant take some of the action we had to endure as well like I used to, a few night's got a tad rough once in awhile, when you deal with party- goer's, intoxicated, and those who prey on those to rob/ jack or whatever, but most of the experience over a couple or so year's was great! One night for instance one guy is stradled over another guy's torso on the ground, hit's the one pinned to the ground in the face a couple time's, the one on the ground yelling to stop, and for help, I intervene and get assaulted as well in the confusion, and then the one I'm trying to protect, yell's at me, telling me to stay out of it (both fairly intoxicated and left one of the local bar's/ club's), when I finally get a hold on the one hitting, and restraining him after he also assaulted me ... the victim tell's me it's just a "lover's quarrel" (gay) ... needless to say I was pissed and told them to both get moving on out, before I call in DPD to arrest them both! Another I'll never forget was a gal breaking down in tear's, falling on her knee's, slightly intoxicated with her boyfriend on the phone (cell) ... who was calling from in their car parked a block away, who shot himself in the head so she could listen while he had her on the phone, he of course died immediately, etc ... (they both left out of a nightclub after an arguement over something, him first causing her to go out looking for him). But I could probably do a whole series of posting's on some of the nightly incident's I experienced.
But one that also stand's out is one who became a friend after awhile ... I will call her here "Veteran X", because I have a few reason's why I should not mention her name here. It was another part of my job to check parked car's for foul play, since there were car break in's nightly by usually dope fiend's who needed to get well (dope sick and needed a bump/ fix, they jack miscellaneous item's they can trade or sell for dope, since pawn shop's ask for ID and DPD check's pawn shop computer's to recover stuff, and many small scale dealer's will take trade for dope instead of cash) ... one night while walking a lot, I came across a young lady who I couldnt tell if she was passed out, asleep, or maybe even dead in her old 1980 or so pick up truck. I tapped on the window, just only to see if she was alright, she wasnt bothering no one, but I had to know, just in case she was a victim or something from foul play or whatever. She roll's down the window and all of the sudden start's apologizing and calling me "sir" etc ... I stopped her and said ... "No, no, no ... you dont need to apologize, I was just checking to see if your alright ..." etc. I noticed the passenger side was full of clothes and personal item's, as if she was moving ... well we started having some small chat, after she asked if I could spare a cigarette, this gal had such a great personality too, really upbeat, cheerful, etc. But I soon found out she was homeless and actually sleeping in her pick up, and also an Iraq Army Veteran, and what a story she had as to how she ended up where she is! Since it was late, and I was about to call it a night and she was a tad hungry, I asked her if she liked Mexican Food? ... she said she sure did with enthusiasm! ... I told her to stay put, and ran across the street to a kitchen of one of the guy's I worked for owned, I knew all the guy's in the kitchen, most didnt even speak a word of english, but they alway's cooked me up whatever I wanted to eat, etc (came with the salary too) also let me add, that this was not some neighborhood taco stand type place, it was one of the higher rated TexMex restaraunte's in Dallas that even received award's in local dining circle's, many of the patron's were NFL Dallas Cowboys, celeb's, local politician's and such ... I had them make me up some steak fajita's, and the worx, 2 to- go plate's and a couple iced tea's, went back across the street with it and joined the gal in the bed/ back of her pick up truck to chow down, she ate like she hadnt had a bite in a couple dayz.
I'm not an experienced writer or "schooled" in such, I reckon is how to put it, but will try to explain here why she was in this situation. She enlisted in the Army, not intending to go to Iraq ... but the call came and she was there and happy to do what she was ordered, etc ... part of the job thing, you know. But really some stories that captivated my atencion as I got talking to her more of thing's like how hot the sand in the day could get at time's and heat that make's Texas look mild ... sand so hot, that if you werent wearing the right sole's on your shoe's ... it could actually melt some rubber sole's, etc, stories of the folk's in these hot region's that only came out at night even, stories of some of the roadside bomb's, boobytrap's, etc, etc ... and this gal was no cry baby, she was a tough gal, but she told me alot with a tad of humor, she had one of them type happy go lucky personalities, even got me laughing!
She had a boyfriend when she went in, she also had fairly decent credit at the time, etc ... she came back on a "leave" and visited her boyfriend who was just drinking and getting high, etc ... but she really cared about him and didnt want to dump him, and tried to talk to him, and back to duty after ... she even wired him emergency money a couple time's! When she got out and came back, she had a bunch of creditor problem's, her bank account was milked, several personal item's such as electronic's gone/ sold and other possession's that were her's that she trusted all of which with her now fiancee. He didnt have an explanation and gave her the runaround, etc ... when she got evidence of all he was ripping her off for while she was in Iraq battlefield's ... she got furious one night, and pulled a gun on him, held it to his head basically, because he said he had nothing of her's, etc ... and told him to give her everything that was her's and every dollar in his wallet too. He got cocky and more aggressive, she basically caught him offguard since he was intoxicated as well, and just pistol whipped him in the head and took what was her's that was left and he hadnt sold yet, and his wallet too, she was pissed, and I sure as Hell dont blame her! I mean, this Guy even went to her mom's house when she was in Iraq and stole shit out of there of her's and her mom's too.
She didnt know it, but the Guy actually filed charge's on her while he was getting patched up at local county hospital, this low life called the cop's on her! She was busted a couple week's later at her mom's house on a warrant for strongarm robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, etc. Her mom was poor and single as it is, couldnt get bond money or even afford a lawyer, she had to take a court appointed attorney, and since she never had any run- in's with the law ever in her life and actually no prior's even ... she was told by this lazy worthless court appointed attorney, that a jury probably wont buy her story and that she didnt need to beat him like that, and a jury could give her more time if they found her guilty, etc, etc, etc ... having no experience with law, she took the attorney's advice and pleaded "no contest" and agreed to take a 4 year felony probation term, with no jail time. She's out now, on probation, lost her cashier job which was barely above minimum wage, her mom get's hospitalized with some kind of stomach cancer (found in women?) then dies, she loses the apartment, and next thing you know, she's on the street looking for work and not wanting to report all this shit to her probation officer, feeling they will lock her up in some halfway house, hoping to find a job and get her shit together to not have to report all this, on her own, etc, etc ... just plain bad timing, luck, and every other goddamn thing ... shit all hit at once basically, and all she had was that old run down pick up to stay in basically, without trying to draw much atencion and not get screwed with by the probation department.
Bottom line, there was probably an agency somewhere's that could probably help her to some extent I would figure, but the probation thing worried her, she wanted to cut it on her own and get herself out of the rut and keep it all as quiet as possibly (she was just a tough independent type gal), not feeling she knew who the Hell to trust. I figured I could perhap's help a tad and managed to help find her a lil motel room that was cheap, and could buy her some time. Then I went to one of the owner's that I worked for who was also a Veteran with over 20 year's in the US Army ... I explained the situation to him, and told him what great personality she had, a real people person, great smile and a hard worker, etc ... I didnt need to say much more ... he jumped right up and told me to bring her over, and had her waiting table's in one of his place's the same day! She actually was such a go getter and ass busting worker, within a few month's he promoted her to work the front door, take reservation's on the phone, seat folk's, etc, etc. We of course became buddies too and took alot of late night break's together over some chow and a beer or two, and alot more stories about Iraq too I may add, that were interesting, etc. Everything worked out well, but she was just one of them hard working person's and wouldnt let anything take her down, and with a lil help, she was off to taking care of thing's.
So many of these Vet's dont get them opportunities, or are simply just in the wrong place at the wrong time, one issue or another. This has concerned me so much in this journal is because for one, with all the waste that this country spend's and the billion's on foreign aid, assistance, etc ... I alway's wondered why there are so many homeless veteran's on the street's? ... because in my opinion ... anyone who serve's for this nation should never be without a roof over their head or in medical need, or hungry ... NOT ONE! WTF is wrong with us man? ... these people put their lives first for this country and us, even if it was "by choice" ... they done their goddamn job ... we should do a better goddamn job at our's.
Enough said ....