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michigan veterans

military veterans
John M. Cropper / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The problem of homelessness among military veterans in Kent County has been solved, according to several organizations that have been working to find housing for them.

The county had more than 400 homeless veterans when the collaborative effort began in 2015.

Veterans Day in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A veteran’s home in Marquette says it’s already fixed problems found by the state Auditor General. After a four-month review, the auditor raised concerns about the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans’ control over medications and its background checks of volunteers.

Officials with the home say they’d started fixing the issues before the auditors visited, and the issues had to be raised because they were previously not in compliance.

Website of Tom Barrett for State Representative

State Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, and state Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, are two Iraq War veterans who were “heartbroken and outraged” when a recent audit revealed the poor quality of care being given to military veterans at a state facility.

Barrett and Knezek decided to fight for the veterans.

A recent audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans revealed the state facility was understaffed, that the workers were mishandling complaints of abuse and neglect, and that they were not conducting mandated safety checks. 

Neal Steeno

When soldiers are sent into war, they often leave a chunk of their hearts and souls on the battlefield.

They may make it home, but part of them remains tied to that far-off battleground.

Tim Keenan of Traverse City lived with that hole in his heart and soul for more than 40 years. He was a 20-year-old infantryman in the fall of 1967 when he was dropped into the frontline fighting in Vietnam at Dak To.

Death
flickr user abarndweller / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It's impossible to know just how many homeless veterans are on America's streets.

The federal government estimates that there are nearly 50,000 vets who are homeless on any given night.

The National Coalition on Homeless Veterans tells us they've served in every conflict from World War II right up to Iraq and Afghanistan, although nearly half of homeless veterans served in Vietnam.

The reasons they are homeless are many: lack of affordable housing, inability to make a livable income, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.

Catherine Shaffer / Michigan Radio

A  veterans fair in Washtenaw County today offered one-stop shopping for employment, counseling, health, and other services. About 20 groups participated in the event at Scio Township Hall. Michigan U.S. Reps. Tim Walberg and Debbie Dingell hosted the event. 

Organizations on hand to offer help included the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, the VFW Department of Michigan Service Office, the Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs, Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program, Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors, and many more. 

Two Iraq War vets are now serving in the State Legislature
flickr user cedarbenddrive / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

There are two Iraq war veterans now serving in the state Legislature.

Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, and Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, both took their seats in November 2014, and they’re working hard toward a goal of improving veterans’ affairs here in Michigan.

Veterans and civilians bond as they run together

Jul 9, 2015

The model for Team Red, White, and Blue is simple. Give veterans and civilians the chance to run together in a relaxed environment and let conversations and friendships happen naturally.

There are no fees or forms or requirements to take part, and everyone is welcome.

What started with a few veteran friends at the University of Michigan in 2010 has now ballooned into 115 chapters all over the U.S.

 U.S. Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho speaks on Capitol Hill for National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day June 27, 2012
user Army Medicine / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

As veterans return home after serving in the Middle East, the nation is becoming increasingly aware of post-traumatic stress injury.

PTSI affects millions of vets and significantly boosts the risk of depression, suicide, and drug- and alcohol-related deaths.

On top of that, for the veterans struggling with PTSI, it can lead to more run-ins with police.