Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homeless vets, from Vietnam to Iraq

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Director’s note: When I Came Home is a documentary which follows the lives and struggles of several homeless veterans, including those who have recently returned home from the war in Iraq. The film examines the factors which led over 150,000 Vietnam veterans from the battlefield to the street and asks the question: Will what happened to Vietnam veterans happen to a new generation of soldiers? The film also focuses on the veteran-led movement which is fighting to end this national disgrace.

When I Came Home is a work-in-progress. Follow the making of the film on director Dan Lohaus’ GNN blog.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

The video was quite sad. However, I agreed with what Herold did. No one knows how it feels like to come back home from war and find out that you have no place to live. It's like coming back home from war and your family isn't there. It's heartbreaking. Herold was a justice-oriented citizen. He wanted to fight for what he believed for because he thought it wasn't fair to him and all the other poor and homeless vets out there. It's outrageous to know that when the people who come out of jail can get jobs and all. It should be the other way around.
-TLau

W Brown said...

What is section "8" housing and who has access to it?

W Brown said...

What can we do as citizens to help people like the ones depicted in the video?

Samantha Ross said...

I agree with Tiffany, the video was sad. I think The United States should be embarrassed as a country to what is happening. As discussed in the movie why is the people released from prison given all the necessities they need. Why are the Veterans not given the necessities they where brave enough to go fight for our countries, they should not have to come home to being homeless. I feel we as citizens can do a lot and help the veterans coming home. A simple fund-raisers, and telling people what is going on will spark flame and lead to bigger things. I feel another reason why there are a lot of homeless Veterans is because not a lot people know about it. It is not an issue that is discussed, but that needs to be changed. I do not think what happened to the Vietnam War Veterans will happen to the Iraqi Veterans. Times has changed. People have become more outspoken taking things into their own hands. There has been new developments they just need to make it for more people to be able to get it.

W Brown said...

Samantha,

Where are the Justice-Oriented citizens?

Everyone in the class wrote that they were personally responsible citizens. Who is going to take up this issue? Who is responsible to "make change happen"?

Vickie said...

I agree with Tiffany and Samantha who both thought the video was heartbreaking. To see a man who risked his life for his country, and even more witnessed such horrible things occuring that he contracted Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, being treated with no respect makes me lose respect for the people running the country and making our decisions. When you think about it our government aked so hastily in getting into this war that they had no provision plans for the soliders who were wounded both physically and emotionally. We are spending so much money on this war, and now starting to expand our sights into Iran, how can anyone justify spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a war and then underfunding the Veterans Hospital, which is the only salvation the returning soliders have?
I don't really know what we can do to make a difference, but I think any small thing can help. In comparison to the Vietnam war, the war in Iraq still pulls at the heart strings of the american public in a way Vietnam never did. I also think the public during Vietnam was just starting to realize the impact they could have on the counrty. It was new and exciting to protest and let your voice be heard. I think we now take that right for granted, I don't think we realize how much change we could make if we rallied together and spoke out.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous posts and did find the documentary rather touching. It is a shame that a man who put his life on the line to protect the people of his country should have to go through this. The system is totally oblivious to whats going on and they need to open there eyes and hearts to the people that are suffering. The system is not just, why must we live in a shelter before being eligible for section 8. It almost seemed like they were glorifying shelter life in the movie, like it was sumthing good instead of looking at the life most shelter tenants live. bottom line war vets should get more respect than what they get.

-Jblount

manpreet kaur said...

I thinbk what happened to the soldiers from Vietnam is happening to the soldiers who came back from the Iraq war. I heard on the news that some of the soldiers that came back from the Iraq war aren't getting full benefits because they didn't spend a certain amount of time in Iraq to gain those benefits. The benefits were healthcare and finacial aid.
I want to answer your question, Mr. Brown. I think that we as citizens can help the people depicted in the video by raising fundraisers for them, and try to tell more people about the people in the video so ; their can be more people who can help out.
I have a question, why is the government not helping its own people in need and are helping others in a different country? I think they shoul first try to focus on what's happening here more than what's happening in another nation.

manpreet kaur said...

Mr. Brown I think that the justice oriented people belong in the catergory to try to bring a really big change in the law to help the veterans. They will try to do more than the pretisapatory citizen.

Anonymous said...

I think that its criminal that this vet is forced to live out of his car but he made the choice to defend his country. He seems to be well educated about all the vietnam vets living on the streets. He is clearly affected by the images hes seen while fighting in iraq but war is war and he should have been prepared for death and fighting. Matt morrison

Bryan S. said...

I agree with everyone who has blogged. The video was quite depressing to see but its true. Igs like what Vickie said that this issue is not discussed as often as it should be. Its sad to see Veterans come home from protecting our counrty and our country basically turning its back on the veteran. I'm not to sure either to tell you the truth what we can do I think its up to the government really. I think section 8 is alot like well fair which veterans cant get into. The whole situation is depressing to know how the world is at times.
Bryan S.

Anonymous said...

This video shocked me because i really had no idea that this happens. I thought that all the Veterans would feel welcome coming back from war but they really didn't. It's really upsetting to see them get treated like this. They did so much for the country, fought for us and risked dying for us. The documentary said that prisoners get more necessities after getting out of jail then soldiers coming back from war which i think is really shameful. I believe what Samantha said, we should as citizens help the veterans because they have done so much for us. Fund-raisers and telling people would definitely help with this situation. I feel as citizens if we do not do something and tell people what is really going on then this will happen to the Iraqi Veterans. I believe we can change this but we just need a lot more voices.

-Anta R.

Anonymous said...

Courtney Wilson...
I agree with everyone who has posted before me. This system is unjust. As a soldier returning home from serving this country, you shouldn't have to look forward to being homeless or on a waiting list for "Section 8" housing. I agree with Herold's actions (although some of them may have came from PTSD). As Mr. Brown stated in class, how is it that this country has a housing program for ex-convicts but those who protect and serve our country are left to fend for themselves regardless of disability.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Tiffany said. I also think that the video was very sad and devastating. It's sad how when you come home from war hoping that you will have a place to live and rest, but then when you finally come there is no place or no one there for you. I think what Herold did was right because he fought for what he believed was right and for what was fair. I think that Herold deserves better because he fought for the country and that same country didn't give him a place to live. I also agree with what samantha said about how the people who come out of prison are given the necessities they need and the veterans aren'nt. The United states should be embarrassed to see what is happening. They need to open their eyes and realize what is happening.
-Simran Kaur

tobin v. said...

I agree with what everyone has said about this issue. It is really sad that soldiers fight for our country and they don’t get any benefits in return. The soldiers that battle for our country shouldn’t be living out their cars or on the streets. Like what Anta said, when I saw this movie I was also shocked. We as citizens should give a hand and do anything we can to help their cause. Even the littlest things can make a difference. To answer what Mr. Brown said about section 8 and who has access to it, Housing Choice Voucher Program also known as “Section 8” is a program in which the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsors subsidized housing for low-income families and individuals.

A faller said...

Some may think that as citizens there is not a lot of things we can do to help these homeless veterans. But if we truly want to help, and act as an justice oriented citizen, there are things we can do. As justice oriented people, we can protest, raise money, help at shelters, or donate items that would be useful to these homeless veterans. I think that it really opens up people's eyes to see how these heroic people are being treated. How they no longer have families, a home, jobs, money. Anything that a common American has. I would like to think that in the end us as Americans would do the right thing for the people who had fought for our freedom. But it doesn't seem like we are going to do the right thing by these people, which is really disappointing.

M. Harmon said...

I agree with Alyssa Faller. I feel this video was necessary to show others just how unfairly veterans are treated. They go serve our country and fight for our freedom, and when they come home they arent helped at all. I think its so disappointing to hear that ex-convicts have housing programs to help them out when they get back into the real world, but soldiers are on their own; coming back to nothing. I think the only way this situation will change is if people act justice oriented. Like Alyssa said, people can protest and help at shelters, which might make things better. I highly doubt this will happen anytime soon though.

Anonymous said...

after watching the video i felt that it was very emotional and sad to see how his whole life changed after coming home. i felt it wasnt fair because they did not help him after and to watch a movie to see someone fighting everyday for there life and have no place to stay shows how much the goverment care i feel if they able to risk there life for our country why not give them the respect they need if there asking for help. some come out and is very messed up in the head have nowhere to go noone to help them so they just resign back because no1 shows they care they only show it when your fighting when you leave your just a nobody like you never exsited and thats a shame there many out there fighting and trying there hardest and to see that harold is still stay strong he has alot of confidence because he want to be known in the public and let them people out there understand what hes going through.
kristal atchison

kemi ajirotutu said...

I agree with every one that the documentary was sad and it’s not fair to the soldiers that come's back from fighting for there country shouldn’t have a place to leave or stay. the benefits that a every day job has like benign a teacher lawyer ect the soldiers should have to , cause being a solider is a job its not fair that cops have benefits and solders don’t they both do about the same thing. may b soldiers who comes home form war should join the police force I think that better than not after all they all do the same job there fighting for justice and what they believe in. I think section "8" is the people that the government gives more to like every month cause my neighbors are section "8" so paying my rent is not a problem for them.

Durkhanai A said...

The video we watched "When I Came Home" was a very sad documentary. Agreeing with Samantha and Tiffany. The United States should not be proud of what they are doing to their soldiers. I think that this will continue for the newer generations also becuase no one has made an effort to change anything from the past. Coming home after war I think that every soldiers desires the best. They shouldnt be left on the corner of some street.

Anonymous said...

J Dilan

I think that this video is a wake up call for all of us. I think most of us didn’t know this was going on. The biggest problem that I had was it was happening to our veterans. It was kind of hard for me to think this was going on because my cousin served in the war and he is back and doing really well. I think that the vet in the movie made one big mistake and that was coming to New York and trying to support his family. The reason why I say that is in the movie they even said that it was tough to support a family here because it is so expensive to live here. I think it is great for the veterans that this video was maid because if more people see this video this problem will slowly go away.

W Brown said...

ANYTHING AFTER THIS IS A WEEK LATE

octavia ramos said...

the video that we watched in class i think by far was the saddest thing i saw, because it like how can our country treat the people that faught for us this way. it makes you wonder and start to know that this country doesnt care about you or your well being they are just usiong you to save themselves just as long as they are safe its okay, and i think thats wrong.This video should be shown in recuiting stations even thought that will never happento see how you can end up like this if you fight for your country

Anonymous said...

The video and Herolds story was indeed heartbreaking. And to think that there are so many soilders that fought for this country, and they're going through the same thing is so hard to even wrap my mind around. But Herold, being the justice oriented citizen that he is, mad the best attempt he knew how to help. By being on the news, and other programs, even simply agreeing to participate in the documentary helped to inform the society who otherwise would be oblivious to this situation. As a student who never heard any news about this before, I'm glad that Herold was willing to share his story with the world.

-Alyssa Cumberbatch

Courteney Richardson said...

anyone who fights in a war for their country is considered a hero.a hero should always be rewarded. seeing this video was a very emotional ,also make others angry. i personally feel that , thats a bad look upon the united states. its also a turn off to others to join the army because if this is the treatment that they will be recieving for doing the united states a favor then some will turn away. another thing that caught my attention is the fact that mostly every recruite station is in the ghetto or "hood". they influence these young black men that the army will promise them a better life by showing them a check on the spot. as citizens there is really nothing that we can do to put a stop in this,but i people will still join the army but very few.

Anonymous said...

Leah Maddaloni-

I agree with Vicky, Samantha, and Alyssa, this video should be shown to everyone and we should go out of our way to make things happen. I believe that this was a wake up call to my self because I never really cared for what was going on in the world until I entered in this class this year. Its heart breaking to watch a man risk everything in his life to fight for ours in my eyes this man is a hero. All the men and women out there fighting for our country are my hero. They deserve to come back there home and be able to get a job. Watching this video made me realize that the government is messed up and wrong for not doing anything about this. I am not saying that only this man should get a special treatment I am talking about everyone who comes home from the war who have no families and there home was all they had left and when they came back they had nothing. Leaving over a 100 people homeless just creates a statement to the U.S that they could care less.

W Brown said...

Closed for Marking Period 1