Dec 3, 2007
Fully one quarter of the homeless are veterans of America’s wars on other people. This is more than double their rate in the population.
Veterans from the war against Viet Nam and the 1990 Persian Gulf war have long been counted in the ranks of the homeless. But today they are being joined by soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
All of them were pushed into the streets by the same factors. First of all, combat in any of these wars produced post traumatic stress disorder, which made vets’ reintegration into their families and work all the harder.
The present economy is making it even more difficult for returning veterans to secure decent jobs as well as have the means to pay for the skyrocketing cost of housing.
Injury and death are only part of the high price paid by that part of the working class which ended up in the army. The toll they are forced to pay afterwards – like this growing problem of homelessness – is a further indictment of a system that grinds up the sons and daughters of the working class in its wars, but spits them out when it has no more use for them.