Big bucks for illegal aliens, short shift for American veterans

Not long ago many of us greeted veterans and active-duty soldiers, sailors and marines with a heartfelt “thanks for your service.” It made us feel good. But perhaps it should make us feel sad now that HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is reporting that there’s been a 7.4 percent increase in veteran homelessness.

According to the Epoch Times, it means that “nearly 13 percent of the homeless adult population are veterans.” Yet, the newspaper notes, “national, state, and local governments continue to spend billions of dollars to house, feed, clothe and provide medical care for millions of illegal immigrants.”

The Center for Immigration Studies reports that “the annual cost just to care for and house the known gotaways and illegal aliens who have been released into the country could cost as much as an astounding $451 billion.” Meanwhile, according to Newsweek, “between 2010 and 2016 the numbers of homeless vets seemed to be shrinking, but in 2023 there were 35,574 homeless vets on our streets, a 14 percent rise in the numbers of “unsheltered veterans.”

Kate Monroe, CEO of Vetcomm, a company that aids veterans with disabilities, told the publication that there are more homeless vets than meets the eye.

“There’s the number of people that they consider to be homeless, and by homeless they mean they’re homeless, like in a tent on the street,” she said. “What isn’t counted in the homeless numbers is the people sleeping in cars and people sleeping in shelters and people sleeping on someone’s couch. There’s actually a million-and-a-half veterans who are at the brink of homelessness, included in that brink is someone living in their car. So, the number is actually much larger than the number we count.”

Jim Whaley, a U.S. Army veteran and CEO of the Mission Roll Call advocacy organization, told the New York Post “We are not doing a good job as a country in making sure that veterans are not homeless. We’re not doing a very good job of making sure they’re transitioning to civilian life in a successful manner.”

For example, he said, when they leave their service, they are faced with a variety of issues. In fact, he notes that “24 percent of all active-duty military personnel have food insecurity issues.  When you look at the basic pay for a junior enlisted person when they first join the service, it’s just a few thousand dollars over the poverty level. We can do better than that, and we need to as a country.”

He says it’s not a surprise that our armed forces are having a hard time attracting recruits.

In fact, America’s armed forces are facing “an unprecedented recruiting crisis” and it’s no surprise, said Whaley. “How can we expect to recruit the next generation of volunteers? I don’t understand why the Department of Defense is surprised that they’re not getting recruitment calls.” They need “to do a better job of equipping service members for success in the transition to civilian life. We need to make sure businesses understand the value that veterans bring to the workplace.”