The report this past week confirmed what veterans’ advocates have been saying for some time: one quarter of the homeless are veterans! While this came as a shock to many people, anyone of age at the time of the Vietnam War would not have been surprised at all. In the 1960s and 1970s we saw returning veterans discarded by the government that had placed them in harm’s way. Many returned strung out on heroin and were completely unable to adjust to life at home. As homelessness became a national phenomenon in the 1980s, we often saw the face of the Vietnam War veteran staring back at us on the streets of the
Yet few of us stop and realize that the mistreatment of veterans is not just peculiar to
This recurring situation is what infuriated me in the lead up to the illegal and immoral
I have found myself wondering each time the
Given the racist reality of the
This totality necessitates a Black veterans’ movement that reaches out to other Black veterans, provides a leading voice against the war and all future plans of aggression and also becomes a means to help our community focus our collective opposition to the war. It necessitates as well as advances the demand that the government take care of those it was willing to sacrifice for a lie.
Let’s hear the voice of the Black veteran!
[BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a labor and international writer and activist, a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies and the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum.]