Despite all the challenges of combat, it’s trying to go “back to normal” that presents the most unexpected challenge—that transition is the hardest part. They train you to do things that you would never do as a civilian, but then expect you to turn that intensity off and find a regular job…from combat to customer service? Most people don’t realize how difficult that adjustment is.
There were several factors that contributed to me seeking emergency help. First, I have been unemployed since leaving the Army in 2006. Second, my son and I were living in my mother’s house until she got engaged and told us that we had to leave. I had to do something to provide stability for my son and that’s when I decided to go to a shelter.
Currently, 1 in 3 homeless men is a veteran of war, with nearly 200,000 homeless male veterans sleeping on the street each night as a result. This statistic will grow as more and more men and women return from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
HELP USA, one of the largest nonprofit housing organizations serving the homeless in the country, provides veterans with housing and employment programs and services. And the thing about HELP is that they give you the steps necessary. These people have provided a lot of help that I needed for my son and myself–they lay it out for you. After I got to HELP, I knew what steps I needed to take and I was able to find permanent housing where my son and I can live together comfortably. This is a great organization and I am glad to have come through here. It feels good to have someone fight for me.
HELP USA is pledging to help with the President’s decision to bring 33,000 American servicemen and women home from Afghanistan by creating a lifeline for returning soldiers. I’ve teamed up with HELP USA to make sure that my fellow veterans have a place to come home to.
They fought for us. Now it’s our turn.
Robert Lebron is an US Army combat veteran who served with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan.