Independence Day 2008

Posted: July 3, 2008 in Compassion, Homelessness, Mental Health, Veterans

“A hungry man is not a free man.”
– Adlai Stevenson (Democratic Politician) –

Tomorrow is Independence Day. It is the day we celebrate the birth of the United States. It is a day of remembrance of the day when our nation found its freedom.  

That freedom wasn’t free. It was bought and paid for by the tears, blood and lives of this nation’s military personal.

Today there are men and women who wear our nation’s uniform. They too are paying the price for freedom.

Tomorrow, while so many of us will be having backyard barbecue’s, watching television and just enjoying having a three day weekend, there will be tens of thousands of our nation’s Veteran’s who will have no place to call home.

They will wander the streets of our nation’s cities. Some will be fortunate enough to find a bed at local homeless shelter. But many more of them will bed down for the night in a doorway, behind a building in a darkened alleyway, in an empty field, or anywhere else they can find to sleep.

Some of them will have nothing to eat. Many of them will struggle with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Because of their PTSD will struggle with an addiction disorder – in an attempt to cope with the emotional and psychological scars of combat.

There are many of us who have magnetic yellow “Support Our Troops” ribbons on our vehicles. Yet, we forget that we are indebted not only to those who are currently serving in our nation’s military, but also to those who have served in the past.

In an article from the Christian Science Monitor, Back from Iraq – and suddenly out on the streets, I found this paragraph,

“You can have all of the yellow ribbons on cars that say ‘Support Our Troops’ that you want, but it’s when they take off the uniform and transition back to civilian life that they need support the most,” says Linda Boone, executive director of The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

I won’t be posting anything tomorrow. I will, however, be back the day after.

In honor of – not only those men and women who are currently serving in our nation’s military – but those Veterans who have served and now find themselves homeless, I share this video which I found on YouTube:

  1. AnAmerican says:

    Thank you for your words of support for ALL Americans on this birthday of our America.
    May we all share in the responsibility of helping those in need who we share this great country with!

  2. joep72 says:

    As a Soldier in Iraq right now, thank you for your support and empathy. Just a few words of support goes a long, long way. Thank you!


  3. michael says:


    Thank you for your comment… BUT more importantly, Thank You for your service to our nation.

    Please be safe… and know that you will be in my thoughts until your come “back to the world”

    – michael –

  4. papahere says:

    Michael…I have tried twice to post a comment on “Smoke and Ashes” but my message did not go through so I am trying this comment box.

    I have been browsing the Internet for websites focused on the homeless…the most interesting one was the “Sonoma County Task force for the Homeless…it looked impressive and wondered if SLO could follow their lead…I also visited the NCL website and their page on My Space suggesting a movement is occurring…do you know of other websites of interest ?


  5. michael says:

    Papa –
    Toward the top of the page is a “Pages” widget… the “Links” link will take you to a page I’ve set up that list a number of homeless advocacy sites.

    I’ll check around and see if I can find other sites for you, as well.

    – m –

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