Reader voices: A suggestion on homeless veterans

The other day, a military veteran said he was just out of the service and was homeless. He asked how he could resolve this situation. It started me thinking.

It occurred to me that the government, specifically the Veterans Administration, should make available to all veterans that are homeless, as well as their accompanying immediate family, temporary free housing on inactive military bases in the continental U.S., until they are able to find a job and affordable housing. This is the least we can do for the men and women that have been in the service of the country and are returning to find an unemployment crisis like never before. One could even think that they could receive job training as well to help them transition.

Of course the question is how to pay for this in this period of low government revenue caused by the tax breaks given to the millionaires, the banks, the corporations and Wall Street stock transactions, and by a military budget that takes more than half of all discretionary spending in our federal budget.

The obvious answer is raise the taxes significantly for those mentioned above and reduce the inflated military budget.

Too many of our representatives in Congress don’t want to tax the groups above. Given that, it seems to me that since there are only about 200 countries in the world and we have over 750 U.S. military bases spread among these foreign countries, we could close many of these down without losing any defence capability and bring those troops home to bases located here at home. This would be a huge savings that would still pay for the active military we bring home but also pay for the this emergency veteran and family temporary housing program.

Keeping military bases in foreign countries is very expensive. We don’t need all 750 or more foreign bases given the technology we now have in order to maintain defense. Close down the redundant bases abroad and give veterans and their families some respect and dignity is what I say.

Photo: Jonathan Greenwald // CC 2.0


Ismael Parra
Ismael Parra

Ismael Parra is the Southern California Chair of the National Writers Union, a musician, and writer. Ismael Parra es el presidente de la Unión Nacional de Escritores del Sur de California, músico y escritor.