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What We're Reading

Article by Brittney Bain September 19, 2014 //   2 minute read

A series of recent stories on NPR focus on the challenge of ending homelessness among our nation’s veterans. One particular report features the story of 29 year-old Daniel Martin, a post-9/11 vet, and his challenge to find employment and get off the streets of San Diego. Martin explains that after returning from Iraq and knowing two soldiers who committed suicide, he’s spent years battling depression. He explains that if he can just get a roof over his head, he can then focus on finding work. “Given, you know, my situation, where I'm able and want to work - you know, that's the kind of stuff that really helps out because once you have a place to live, you can store your things, take a shower, cook your food. And you can start to live life like a regular human being again,” says Martin.

Martin’s story is just one of many about the challenges our nation’s post-9/11 veterans are facing as they return home and try to transition back to civilian life. According to research  by the Bush Institute in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, 48,000 post-9/11 veterans are homeless or at-risk of being homeless, a three-fold increase since 2011. Employment, education, and wellness are other key challenges for transitioning warriors. The NPR story ends on an encouraging note – Martin found housing through Veterans Village of San Diego and can focus now on finding a job. It’s another reminder of the crucial role nonprofit organizations play in assisting our vets.