Happy Veteran's Day
While I scroll through my Facebook feed noticing all of the loving posts from my friends, I am reminded of the love of my own family. During WW1 my great-grandmother left her 5 children with her mother to go join the army. Later on, her four boys signed up to defend this nation; and they all made it home alive and well. I am thankful that the Marines changed my brother from an aimless, undisciplined boy into a great man. However, I feel obliged to not forget that not all veterans arrive home with the ability to function a normal and healthy life. Recent statistics indicate that 12% of all the homeless are veterins who have served our country. Of those, 70% suffer from substance abuse and 50% suffer from mental illness or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which makes it difficult to maintain employment and stable relationships. The homeless population in Florida alone is estimated at 1.5 million. I am thankful for local organizations who reach out in love to these forgotten soldiers, such as New Beginnings in Clermont. Many national organizations, such as Homes for our Troops specifically work with providing affordable housing for our veterans. Provding support in the form of time and money will help these organizations to meet the needs of these individuals. When you see a soldier in uniform in the next 365 days, take the time to sincerely thank them. When you see the local highschool JRROTC (Jr. Reserve Officers' Training Corps) having carwash fundraisers, get your car washed. These programs are teaching students great things; even for those students who don't choose to enter the military. Freedom comes at a great cost and we must not forget that, for some, recovery is long and difficult.