Kennola Thomas 0

Stand Up for Our Vets

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To: The people of Bloomington-Normal

Creating a VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) was one of the most self-rewarding things Bloomington Normal has done. Now that we have a VFW, we need to put it to good use. With that being said, we would like for the City Council to expand upon our VFW located in Bloomington, IL. Meaning, we would like to see new programs offered that will help veterans with disorders and who struggle to find shelter. These programs would include job preparation, medical attention, community service and simply opening up VFW Post 454 not only to play pool and drink beer, but also bring families in and plan activities. This would benefit Bloomington-Normal because there are already lots of Veterans who receive little to no help after they come home from combat or tours. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Nearly 76,000 veteran experienced homeless on a given night …” (SAMHSA). This is extremely embarrassing; veterans can put their lives on the line for us, yet come home and have nowhere to lay their heads. We need to make sure our Veterans have a place to stay, and our mentally and physically ready for a job so they can provide for their families.

Equally important is our veteran’s emotional health. We have no idea how much they have been through. states that “the demanding environments of military life and experiences of combat, during which many veterans experience psychological distress…” counseling is a great way to re-live and conquer life’s struggle that might be un-bearable. We believe by making counseling available at all hours will help our veterans cope with not only life struggles, but their past struggles as well.

Furthermore, we need to improve our veterans’ physical health. Both mental and emotional health affects physical health. If a person is not in their right mind it is hard for them to express themselves accordingly. Physical health is more than lifting weights it is about having enough strength to get up and carry out daily labors. If you and suffering from drug abuse it is extremely hard to control yourself.

Finally, my colleagues and I demand that we take up for the veterans, just how they did for us.

  • Temporary shelter
  • Job search help
  • promote mental health

These things are not too much to ask.

We, the undersigned, request that the town of Bloomington-Normal take pride in their veterans and pressure the VFW to build another shelter for the homeless veterans living in town and to prepare them for jobs, so that they can have a real chance at regaining or starting a life.

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