It is so quiet. For once the ceiling fan is even silent. I do hear a bit of distant traffic, but it is muted.

I sit here in the semi darkness not having a thing to do in front of me. That’s a nice feeling.

My daughter asked me yesterday if I have weekend plans. And I always say no. It is the way I like it. Weekends mean more people out and more traffic.

I started reading a book last night about homeless people disappearing in a city in England.

The first one Alex, a journalist, is aware of was a man she came across after a car accident while she was walking home. He was bloodied and incoherent. But he handed her a slip of paper.

Her phone was not charged and she was on foot. So she had no way of getting him treatment unless she left him. But he kept clinging to her hand and begging her not to go.

Then suddenly two men in a white van came along and picked him up and took him away, supposedly to get medical help.

Alex asked them to let her know which hospital he was taken to, and handed them her business card so they could contact her. But something was a bit off about them.

The piece of paper he handed her had his sister’s name on it with her phone number. Alex phoned her. They met at Cora’s and started trying to figure out what was going on.

The homeless people that Cora knew through her brother Rick were one by one disappearing.

When the homeless disappear, it isn’t the same as when someone else is missing. The police figure maybe they just decided to move on. And this is what they told Alex and Cora when they contacted them.

But then one homeless man that Alex met through Cora left his dog behind. And they both knew how much he loved that dog.

The dog was picked up by animal control. Alex went to get Ethel and took her home, hoping she could reunite the dog with her owner.

Cora’s brother was ex-army. He had served in Afghanistan and suffered from both a brain injury and PTSD. His anger and bouts of violence caused him to lose his wife and two young daughters. And eventually he landed on the streets.

This has always been a problem. Veterans suffering from PTSD and not being able to cope upon their return to civilian life.

PTSD & TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury):

The New England Journal of Medicine performed a survey that identified a link between traumatic brain injury (or TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD.)

The evidence showed that military members who experienced a traumatic brain injury were more than twice as likely to suffer from PTSD later on than service members who did not suffer a TBI.

The PTSD onset was generally 3-4 months after returning from deployment.

Symptoms Of PTSD:

PTSD is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event. However symptoms may not appear until several months or even years later.

The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma.
  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered.

Veterans are not unlike civilians when it comes to homelessness.

They must navigate the lack of affordable housing and economic hardship that everyone faces, in addition to the challenges brought on by multiple and extended deployments.

Taken together, these factors create a population that deserves, but can often struggle with, housing stability. – From the End Homelessness In America organization.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night.

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9 Comments

  1. My husband served in the Vietnam War. Not a fighting man but in telecommunications but he saw and heard all the horrible things that went on. He has not spoken of VN since he returned in ’69 until this past Thanksgiving when he told my brother something. My brother was surprised that he spoke of it. According to the symptoms listed at the end of your article he does have PTSD but would never in a million years admit it. He will not get help either. He isn’t violent and has never hit anything but he holds it all inside. I feel very sad that he isn’t willing to get help and lead a normal life. I wish something more could be done for our veterans who fought so hard for our country. That’s why I go out of my way to thank any soldier I see or hear talking.

    1. I’m so sorry. But I understand that he is afraid to speak of it, bringing it all back. It must be lonely for him to hold it all inside. There’s probably an instinct that tells him if he doesn’t address it, then it will remain contained. He doesn’t want others to know what he’s seen. Again, I’m so sorry for both of you.

  2. The number o_ homeless people in this country in general–even without mentioning our veterans– is shame_ul. I am pretty much a paci_ist but I still think our government owes our veterans, especially those with injuries and PTSD, the means to a decent li_e. It seems that no one really addresses this issue in any meaning_ul way. Sad.

    Hope your weekend is rest_ul, Brenda. Mine’s pretty low-key so _ar. Which is okay with me.

  3. It always frustrates me when I hear someone talking about the homeless, and that they could get a job at local eateries, etc. That’s doesn’t even begin to meet the rent, utilities, meals, transportation, health care needed, etc. etc etc. WE as a nation need to provide better care for our service people, homeless and aged.

    ITs hot and humid here. I just refreshed the water in the birdbath as the robins enjoyed bathing a long time this morning! Enjoy your weekend.

  4. It is so sad to read of vets with PTSD. These men who fought for us and our country, and are now the forgotten. Not only sad, but makes a person angry that they are forgotten.
    On a lighter note, the book I am reading is the “Girl With a Pearl Earring”. It is a novel, about the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, and the famous painting that has been called the Dutch Mona Lisa. Interesting to read what life was like in the 1600s, and how this painting may have come to be.
    Have a nice weekend Brenda, weather here is quiet, looks like rain, even tho the weather man said sunny all day. Guess, it doesn’t matter, we have no plans for today anyway.
    Hugs to the three of you, Bonnie in WI

  5. Housing is certainly difficult if you are starting over with a new life. Then there are all the household goods necessary for cooking and bathing. I wish something could be approved for the homeless.

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