Veterans Day

Veterans Day was last Friday. It was easy to miss. Some people attended Veterans Day parades or other observances; but such events lack publicity. They are not as popular as dressing kids up in offensive costumes to panhandle for candy on Halloween less than two weeks earlier. Priorities are perplexing.

Veterans Day (which really is spelled without an apostrophe) honors those who serve or have served in the military. It is different from Memorial Day, which honors deceased veterans, whether they died as a direct result of their service or afterward. So, Veterans Day is for living Veterans who are still members of our Community.

Yet, so many are homeless. So many can not afford to live here. So many lack social services that they could benefit from. The apparent social apathy for Veterans Day must be discouraging.

Fortunately, the formerly inordinate rate of homelessness among veterans is supposedly declining. Approximately 6.5% of people in America are veterans. According to some sources, only about 7% of homeless people in America are veterans, which is only about 0.5% more than the ratio of veterans within the general populace. In the past, according to some sources, the ratio was almost exactly double, at 13%. The rate of homelessness among veterans is approximately 2.1%. The rate of homelessness among the general populace is approximately 1.7%. The difference is only 0.4%.

Nonetheless, 2.1% of veterans is not zero. Nor is 1.7% of the general populace. The potential for improvement remains.

Only about four veterans had been prominently homeless locally since about 2013. Of these, two have inhabited homes for several years, one procured a stable domestic situation more recently (but is now deceased), but one remains homeless nearby. Regardless of his current situation, he was at least pleased to be honored on Veterans Day.