Desert Storm Veteran on the Streets

Vets plagued by homelessness

The following story is out of Lansing, Michigan.  It is the story of a Desert Storm Veteran that hasn’t been able to hold a job in 10 years and is living on the streets, one of about 175 homeless veterans in Lansing. 

Desert Storm Veteran on the Streets
Written by Clay Taylor
Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Find and Read the rest of this story

Willie Moore Jr., a war veteran, wakes up around 5:30 every morning. After some coffee and a glance at the news, he’s ready to start the day. After attending meetings at Michigan Works! and talking to his caseworker at Volunteers of America, he begins looking for a job.

Moore hasn’t held a job for 10 years, but he’s still optimistic about finding one. He takes advantage of services offered to homeless veterans in the Lansing area.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 195,000 veterans were homeless in America in 2006. Veterans are grossly overrepresented in the homeless community, according to Patrick Patterson, VoA’s vice president of operations in Lansing. “One in eight of the general population is a veteran,” Patterson said. “You’ll find vets in the homeless population around 25 percent.” Patterson said that the greater Lansing area plays host to an average 700 homeless individuals on any given day. Roughly 175 of them are veterans.

Willie Moore Jr., one Lansing’s hundreds of homeless vets,
near the Hall of Justice in Lansing, the site of the annual
Stand Down for Veterans service event sponsored last
week by Volunteers of America. (Clay Taylor/City Pulse)

The explanation for the vast amount of homeless veterans stems from three main causes, says Cheryl Beversdorf, president of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. She said some soldiers are hindered by mental illnesses or physical disabilities caused by war trauma or substance abuse. Finding a job is also difficult, as many soldiers joined the service in lieu of attending college and never learned how to prepare a resume and market themselves as potential employees. The third reason is a lack of cheap, safe, affordable housing.

“If you don’t have a job, and you have health problems, trying to find a place to live that is safe and affordable is very difficult,” Beversdorf said.

Moore knows the troubles faced by returning veterans all too well. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Moore joined the Army on April 11, 1989, his 24th birthday. His unit, 164th Chemical Company, was preparing to ship out to Saudi Arabia until its orders changed. As a result, Moore never saw combat. He said that he was more disciplined when he returned from duty, and like his high school baseball days, it gave him another chance to wear a uniform.  

There is more to this story, use the link above to find them.

Heroes are out there too

Click “front page” for the rest of Oldtimer’s posts.  You will find links in the blogroll to the right that will select all homeless veteran posts and all homeless youth posts if that is your greater interest.


5 responses to “Desert Storm Veteran on the Streets

  1. As a Desert Storm Veteran, currently living at a Christian Ministy for the homeless, I can truly identify with this story. God Bless all my Brother and Sisters at arms, and in support thereof, whom our country folk have forgotten what they have put on the line and been willing to risk for all. I feel that it is truly a shame that the old motto is slowly changing to “Homeless the Brave”

  2. If it were not for my parents this 46 yo vet would be in the streets too. No job but trying to wash cars and sell donations keeps me still hoping.

  3. the last time this country was run properly, was way back when “veterans”,were in charge. Not even “minorities of the time” were left out – point? the point is, this country has enough “qualified” people to guide the world. Yet, we”the believers of the flag” get continually pissed on trying to help our own brothers n sisters. Remember,”Dont tread on me “still applies to this day. You people in the govt-you know exactly who you are- you’re so distracted by the snakes tail, that you’re not going to see the fatal bite that is already on its way. the american people-veterans especially are going to be victorious over the “big wigs”. #1-they cant find or keep track of everyone(they trained us with their technology-haha)#2-short of a nuclear boom,they cant arrest or confine all of us at once.(martial law is a joke at this point). So vets and patriots stick together and dont give in to the bull-we already know whats next, they dont,so be ready together,’cause they wont be. Its NOT overthrowing the govt-its called taking back whats originally ours in the first place. If you know of or see a vet in need(whatever it may be),and you can help-please do-they’ve already helped us. Semper Fidelis

  4. i am curious I was stationed the NTC assigned to the 164th Chemical Company from 1989-1991 and I don’t recall you being there? Which platoon were you in? Who was the commander at the time. Just curious

    • Hello, Mark

      First, I want to thank you for your service. You are a hero in my eyes just for serving.

      You need to understand that this is a story that was written by a Lansing, Michigan newspaper reporter which I gave the source and link to. I see now that the link fails. There is no indication that Willie Moore Jr has ever seen this site. You can contact the writer mentioned in the story if you want to check his facts.

      Thank you for your concern as well as your service.


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