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Homeless Veterans Work For A Living
In March of last year, I began a journey. I decided to gather all possessions I had, tents, survival gear, first aid, cram them into a tiny car and drive the country in an effort to seek out homeless veterans in need. I managed to cover 33 states in 9 months, feeding and clothing over 150 homeless veterans—and, sadly, nearly 350 homeless families.
It wasn’t difficult to find them. Every state across the country has a Walmart within 50 miles of one another. I saw, sometimes two at a time, military brethren, keeping each other company inside their cars. Spending one or two nights, living out of my car, I began to notice their pattern. No matter the time zone, like clockwork and undoubtedly chalked up to their training, at 5 AM a small caravan of workers would turn over their car or truck engines and head out of the parking lot and onto whatever construction or under the table part-time work they could find. They would all come back to the parking lots around 5 PM in the evening, get out of their vehicles, clothes dirty and tattered, and walk into Walmart to come back out with some small food portions and possibly bathroom supplies.
Some, it was apparent, wished to be left alone, among their thoughts and saddened gaze out into nowhere. Others would welcome me as I would always set up a camping stove and some chairs, the likes would typically be seen at a football game tailgate party. Just my dog and I, stew or corned beef hash, cooking. These men and women would approach and before ever requesting anything, would offer anything they had as if there were an unspoken etiquette of trade mandated prior to any sharing of company.
Immediately we would strike up conversation about how they became impoverished and in their own words, “desolate and abandoned.”
They would say, “It’s just impossible. I went overseas for my country and now I can’t even afford hot water in a home nor a home to begin with. I had a home but lost it. I couldn’t keep up with the bills. And I’ll be damned if I take a handout. That’s not how I was raised or trained.”
The conversations became repetitive. These men and women were not drunk, on drugs or mentally ill. They simply could not keep up with the cost of living after their service ended. In five instances, this feeling of failure brought men to the point of wanting to end it all. “No one will care if I’m gone. Nothing I’ve done matters. It doesn’t matter if I die unless it happens over there.” I spent hours trying to convince them otherwise, I hope with a long-term effect. These men and women that served feel left behind and unwanted. They feel actions speak louder than words. This country does far more talking than acting, unfortunately.
David Clayton-Ready drafted the "Character by Integrity Act" and is eager to speak to any congressional representative or staffer who cares about the epidemic of homeless veterans sweeping the nation. You can learn more about the act Integrity Act here. You can support his work here. You can see all of the travels of David and his faithful companion, Boomer, on his Instagram account found on the profile name of: Honest_Irish. He has written a manuscript about his year's journey through the world of the Walmart vets, and would welcome assistance from a freelance editor who could edit and format it so it could be sold as an e-book on Amazon.
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.