U.S. government still failing to care for wounded warrios

February 16, 2014 

I was at a local sandwich shop one night and met a young homeless veteran who was trying to buy a sandwich to feed himself and his family with five dollars he had clutched in his hand.

A conversation was struck up and he began to tell me about is inability to get a job because he was considered a liability due to PTSD. He also stated his disability claim through the VA was backlogged due to the number of veterans returning from the war.

This guy cannot even get food stamps. He has gone to local organizations, but for one reason or another cannot get the assistance he needs due to his backlogged claim.

This young man was a gunnery sergeant and did two tours in Iraq, where he was shot three times while providing protection for a U.N. food distribution center.

I bought his sandwiches and gave him what money I had at the time. I hugged him and told him to keep fighting for what is owed to him.

I am a daughter of a Vietnam veteran and this is a story that I know well. My father was exposed to Agent Orange and suffers daily with his health and PTSD. My father had to fight in the war and he still fights every day. This time it isn't with a man holding a gun, it is with the government.

I think people are put into your path of life. All this young vet wanted was someone to listen to his story. His name was Steve and he matters to me. He should matter to all of you. Remember that when you vote.

Patricia Brining

Bradenton

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