Long after the “last shot is fired,” our veterans require and deserve a long-term commitment to help them rebuild their lives—to thank them for their service with more than words. At VRC, we understand that the obstacles many veterans struggle to overcome—including homelessness, poverty, unemployment, and disability —are interrelated, and require an integrated network of support within the community and continuum of care.
California, where we’re based, is home to more veterans than any other state, and thousands more are returning from military service each year to communities across the country. Many aging veterans who failed to receive the care they needed upon exiting the military have suffered for decades, and society has often suffered alongside them as they’ve occupied jail cells, street corners, unemployment lines, and drug treatment programs. Meanwhile, children who were born after 9/11 are now preparing for adulthood in a nation that has been at war their entire lives.
At one point, every veteran signed his or her name on a contract, took an oath, and put on a uniform. They volunteered to serve, and in so doing they actively chose to risk their lives and personally sacrifice many of the same rights they signed up to defend. Regardless of whether they served during peacetime or deployed to combat, or what their original motivations were for serving, they made a promise to do whatever was asked of them, and for that, they deserve our gratitude and support. At VRC, we believe this shouldn’t be a partisan or political issue—serving those who served us is everyone’s responsibility.