Homelessness Still a Problem For Veterans

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- One in three homeless people in America is a United States Military Veteran, leaving more than 100,000 veterans homeless and hungry on any given night.

Some veterans talked about some resources available to keep them safe and fed.

Nearly three million veterans and their families don't have enough to eat each month.

But this is nothing new, veterans, dating back to World War Two, were asked to sacrifice abroad and the same thing is happening here at home.

David Snyder, a Vietnam veteran attending a Veterans Day ceremony at the Fishburne Military Academy, remembers what it was like when he first got back.

"When I went through the airport, I was treated like a second class citizen. People would make fun of me and call me names and things like that. It got so bad that I went into the restroom and changed my clothes so that no one would know that I had been in Vietnam," said Snyder

"I got spit on in '77 then when I retired in 2010, I couldn't even pay for a meal at a restaurant," said Bruce Webb, who served for 14 years and is now the District Service Officer for the American Legion in the Valley.

Both Webb and Snyder said homelessness and hunger are big problems.

"You don't know what their situation is, we do all we can to help them, but I think some of them need to help their selves," said Snyder.

He said not just today, but through all the wars.

"I think it's an ongoing problem. A lot of soldiers come back now with post traumatic stress syndrome and I think that's one of the biggest problems," said Synder.

"It's so fast paced over there, it's like getting off a merry-go-round when you're in place," said Webb.

Getting back and needing help adjusting; Webb says veterans organizations aren't just for the older guys.

"It's for all veterans and we have a lot of benefits to offer them," said Webb.

"Help us help them," said Synder.

Snyder is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and said it and the American Legion have so many resources for vets needing assistance.

Webb did say that right now the VA is backed up, so the claims that these veterans are making aren't being processed for at least a year and a half at this point.

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