Posts Tagged ‘mental/physical disorders’

Many A Homeless Veteran Faces This!

December 19, 2012

Generally I don’t open up about myself.  However, this has come to mind as I remember an old friend.  Though he wasn’t a veteran, many veterans face the issues I face.  Twenty five percent of all veterans will or have become homeless at one time or another.  Below is a short story I wrote that would have been me had I not continued on.  For many a veteran, this story is what they will go through.  So here it is:

The Homeless Vet

           He is awaken from a drunken stupor.  Not from the person he shared the bottle with the night before.  That one is sleeping quietly several feet away.

It isn’t from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets surrounding the alley he has awaken in.  They are hundreds of feet away.  Even the stray animals and occasional rat scampering about hasn’t done it.

Then he realizes what is happening.  It’s not another he sees.  But it’s his own prone body as a soft warm hand takes his own.

As his spirit lightens and rises, he continues to look down upon the body that was once his.  Slowly the scene becomes larger as he turns to see who has taken his hand.

It’s as the city lights fade to stars that he realizes just who has taken his hand.  It’s the only one who never gave up on him.  Though no one will remember his body or his name, this man remembered his soul.  The soul of a forgotten veteran.

 

I’m not a man of any set religion.  However, this can and does happen to a lot of homeless veterans.  Unfortunately, it’s not always alcohol.  Sometimes it’s drugs. Some of those drug addictions are actually started from the Veteran’s Affairs hospitals in the name of prescription drugs relieving a patients pain or other disorder.

A lot of those addictions (alcohol or drugs) are actually people who are doing what is called “self medicating.”  This is where a person who is taken off a narcotic drug, when faced with no further supply or limited supply drinks or does other illegal drugs to substitute for narcotics he/she would have otherwise be prescribed by his doctors.  Then again, there are those that were addicts before they left the military (both legal and illegal drugs).

I won’t care to wager just how many homeless veteran’s end their lives each year due to addictions.  My guess is that one in ten do though.  It may be higher than that.  At least I beat it.  However, I’m far from out of the woods yet in this aspect.  Temptation is still there, so this story may still come true for me.  I certainly hope not.

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