There are many homeless veterans on Long Island and in New York City, and there are a number of reasons. Some are living on the streets because of extreme shortage of affordable housing, lack of family, or are suffering from stress, substance abuse and depression. I feel their pain. I served in the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam era, and upon my release from the military in 1975 I found myself homeless and panhandling in the town of Hempstead for spare change for food. A stranger named Cyril, who migrated from Nigeria, offered me a room and a chance to get on my feet. There are many veterans who are not so lucky. Today I'm 69 years old and have been working for a plumbing supply in Mineola for 39 years, I'm also a Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council #5911. I'm also a member of American Legion Post 103 in Douglaston and serve at Our Lady of the Snows Parish and St. Anastasia Catholic Parish. The reason I think I survived my homelessness is because the good Lord knew I had more to give to others. So therefore I urge our government to do more for our homeless veterans who have given so much to our country with pride and dedication. May God bless our veterans.
By Frederick R. Bedell Jr.