Ryan J. Kaufman is a United States Army veteran who deployed to the Middle East serving with the Big Red One. He has suffered three stints of homelessness, and countless bouts with employment issues. Today, Ryan works with veterans and their family members in Central Nebraska, as a peer in resource development, and as a specialist.
When I exited the United States Army almost 10 years ago, my mother was ravaged by terminal cancer. She passed six months after my discharge. I could not seem to hold a regular job. I had three younger teenage siblings, the youngest being 13. As much as I wanted to, I could not take care of my immediate family’s needs. When we could no longer afford the duplex, my siblings stayed at a family friend’s house. I stayed for a while, but my issues forced the family to ask me to leave.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.