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Neighbors Vs Good Neighbors

Neighbors Vs Good Neighbors

I’ve always been taught to love my neighbors.   I do – I have no trouble loving anyone I meet whether through our church, within a business, on the street, or even on the net.  

I have to confess that I love some gooder than others (gooder is a good southern word, thank you).  Some are just fine people and they always exhibit good vibes whenever you speak to them.  Good Neighbors are also the first to pony up to help someone out.  Oh, they complain about this or that, but it is good naturedly and accompanied by a winning smile of acceptance.   

This is Veterans Day and I was prompted to think about the Good Neighbors that are in service to our country and particularly those that have already served – our veterans.  

What better neighbor can you have than one that served to keep us free?  What better neighbor can we have that unselfishly put themselves in harms way, under threat of being maimed and possibly death?   These are among the goodest neighbors we can hope to have.

I was impressed today at the little cafeteria where we ate after church, when so many men came in decorated with pins, flags, and name tags that their churches and synagogues had pinned on them so we would know that a good neighbor, a hero, was in our presence.   I managed to shake a few hands and express thanks.  Not enough for what they did for us.  Not nearly enough.

We have some Good Neighbors right here on the net.   Wanderingvet for example.  A homeless veteran that is about as fine a person as you can find even in his present situation.  A working veteran with not enough income or steady jobs to have a roof.   Go read some of his stories as he lives a life on the streets and sleeps on the hillsides.  It is a struggle but he hands out useful advice to other homeless on how to cope, useful advice to other veterans on how to get help.   Maybe one or two can help him.

Another Good Neighbor is VA234 who is a disabled veteran in Ohio that started his blog while he was still homeless.  If you go back far enough and read forward you will get the real story of what it is like to struggle with life from the street side, negotiating toward a real place to live.

Another Good Neighbor is Patriot Guard of North Dakota These fine people show up at military funeral services when some of our not-so-good neighbors threaten protests.  You’ve heard of groups that come out and carry signs demonizing the soldier hero being brought home to rest and doing so at the expense of the grieving family and friends.  The Patriot Guards show up on motorcyles and reverently stand guard to make sure the services are not disturbed.   The North Dakota Patriot Guard is particulary close to my heart because they went to the rescue of a veteran that was about to be put out on the street and his home torn down.   They did far more than that.  You can find it in earlier posts.

Al and Perry, homeless veterans here in Marietta are Good Neighbors.  I’m sorry that I can’t give you a link to them because they still live in the woods.   Pat of Georgia Home Staging, her husband Scott, and several others in our church are especially Good Neighbors for coming to the aid of Al and Perry (and other homeless), taking food and clothing, bringing Al and Perry into our church, breaking bread with them over lunch each Sunday.    They are encouraging Al and Perry to get help through the VA by providing information and assistance to get it done.

The Golden Corral seems to be a Good Neighbor.  They don’t need a link, just go find one if you are a veteran, or have a meal there anyway because they are such Good Neighbors.  (They also helped us out with Habitat meals).  Monday, November 12 is this years “Military Appreciation Day” in which they will give any and all veterans that show up a free meal.   I learned that at another Good Neighbor, Homeless Family BlogI’m not sure he is a veteran, but he has a veteran’s heart and writes a good blog.   I know he was homeless at one time and allowed me to quote him several times.  

There are countless others that I don’t have links for that fall into the Good Neighbor category.  

The title of this article is “Neighbors vs Good Neighbors” so now I’m going to go over to the bad side, the simply neighbor side, to live up to the billing of Oldtimer Speaks Out.  I know I’m supposed to love my neighbor as myself, but I’m having a really hard time doing that with an internet neighbor.  This neighbor is one of the bad ones.  He wrote me today in response to a comment about medical care for our heroes and it nearly ruined my whole day: 

“They’re treating heroes – but why??? I’m (sic) don’t understand.”  

At first I thought it had to be a typo, (as in meaning to say “mistreating heroes”) but then I looked up the guy’s website and found it was a site that is anti-war, anti troops, a hate site.   Now it is not a stretch to see that some would be against the war, as I’m not thrilled about that myself.   But this group and this person is also against our troops.   Against our troops so much they want them to go untreated, to suffer, to even die.   It is this type of bad neighbor that would carry a sign and shout and disrupt a solumn funeral for a war hero while the family grieves nearby.  Thus the reason for such Good Neighbors as the Patriot Guard.

Yes, I do have compassion for this person for his bitterness.  But I’m not allowing him to post on this website.  It is the only one I’ve turned down so far.  He may be a neighbor, but God and I may have a conversation tonight about whether I should love him.   Anyway, I’ve hope that He would agree that I don’t have to let this neighbor over the threshold and enjoy the comforts of my home.  

To the bad neighbor that doesn’t know “why???”, I’ll answer your question anyway.  Because they more than deserve it.  They served their country to protect the hide of someone like yourself, for me, for all the other Good Neighbors that have already served, for your families and mine, to protect and serve – that is why.   Never mind how this war started, never mind whether you think it is unjustified … these patriotic young men and women stepped up to the plate when the plate was empty, stayed at the plate as the strikes went by and stand there now to hit the winning home run.   Ever ready to protect the bitter worthless souls such as yourself  that would deny them the comfort and aid of treatment.   

Another bad neighbor is the retailer’s gross use of Veteran’s Day to post advertizements such as I’ve seen so many of today.  “Come celebrate Veteran’s Day at our car lot”. “At our white sale”, “at our drugstore”.  No other mention of Veterans except as an excuse to shop them.  No flags, no parades, no contributions to veteran’s benefit.  Simply a gross excuse to ride on the back of a day meant to honor our heroes.   

To my Good Neighbors and Good Friends all over this web that are Veterans and Soldiers,  I hope this Veterans Day is a particularly good one for you!  And to the bad neighbors, I propose Grace and Peace to you as well and hope you soon see the light.

 Oldtimer

 

 

 

  

 

Homeless Veteran in Ohio cites Cat, “Companion Animal” as therapy

Companion Animal – One Cat Dose 

The following is from a blog by a disabled veteran living in NE Ohio.  He has been blogging since June of 2006 about his life and his attempts to negotiate through the VA system for medical care and also into some sort of housing.   I’ve had a copy of this article for some time because I was doing a little research on the homeless-with-pets problem.  Most shelters will not allow pets, and thus disenfranchise shelters as an option for many.   This homeless vet has at least been able to do some couch surfing with friends, but only those that allow a cat in the house.   Some won’t, but he can’t function without it.    He is working on a disability claim for 10 months now and is stewing over whether or not the VA will let him keep his cat if they find him an affordable place. 

The following came from his June 2006 archiveSee his blog here

Since last July when I became homeless, I have had to pare down even more of my belonging, throwing a lot of stuff out. Last July, between garbage and GoodWill bags — we counted 28. I really used to be an “adult” — a rack of kitchen small appliances, formal dining room, china, flatware, full living room, “home office”, guest bed, my own washer&dryer, all of that “adult” stuff, and now here I am, 30-something, with my “world” in a rented storage bay, trying to find a place to sleep where my cat is welcome too.

“Housed-homeless”, it seems like such a strange concept, but there’s probably more of us “couch surfing” veterans than anyone is counting as “officially” homeless

As to VA Homeless resources: the biggest set-back to me accessing VA homeless assistance right now is my cat. My social worker and [new!] psychiatrist have very well documented the fact that during the 10 months my disability claim was re-opened and still now that I am waiting on my I.U. claim — one singular thought “my cat can’t feed herself” has kept me from doing really stupid things more times than I can count.

In January, my psychiatrist amusingly asked me if I was OK with just one cat or if I felt I needed to “move up to a two cat dose.” No crap, he really asked me that! I told him that if she had a playmate, she would probably ignore me, so one cat works plenty fine for me. 8lbs of nothing but fuzz and cuddles can really make a difference on an ugly day.

They won’t let me move without her, and finding open space with any friends where both of us are welcome is really tough. It’s true, she does keep me alive, so I can’t really argue with them, but trying to find yet another place where both of us are welcome drives me completely insane whenever I wear out my welcome where I am at. The VA prefers that I spend $20/month on food and litter, rather than ask them to spend several thousand dollars to keep me inpatient every time the world looks really black and I can’t even fathom as far as “lunchtime tomorrow.”

Every time it takes me weeks to find somewhere I can keep her with me and actually have to consider the reality that I might just have to give her up — yes, my world falls apart. My cat is listed as a “companion animal” in my records, not as a pet, but do you think the VA is doing much to help me find an affordable place where I can keep her? Cats are not the VA’s job.

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Click for All Homeless Veteran Posts

Homeless Youth and Drugs – In a Street Kid’s Own Words

To zone in on the problem, let me introduce you to a 17 year old girl, currently hom

This is a real person posting on a homeless forum. She lives in Australia. I suspect other than the street name for paint sniffing (“chromers”), the problem is the same anywhere in the US.   I’ve changed her screen name to protect her privacy even more.

“Sally” is discussing homelessness with other homeless people.

Quote:

“On the streets drugs are all around you, always being offered to you, people always walkin around smashed.  I’d like to see anyone live on the streets and not take drugs at some point, I really do think that’s impossible.  

Hey, I don’t like drugs, but sometimes it’s really hard not to take them.  Most people on the streets have some degree of depression, and sometimes your resilience gets low.  Amongst the homeless youth population in Brisbane I think the main substance of choice is paint. Cheap, easy to nick, and a quick high.

When you’re feeling like s— and all your friends are sniffing and trying to get you to, offering you fills, and life is crap for you at that point, it’s very hard not to just give in and take it.  Sure, it kills your brain cells, but who cares about that when you’ve got nothing much to live for anyway?

“You say you can’t stand it, but I don’t think you really understand what it’s like to be on the streets, what those kids who sniff have gone through, what they’re trying to escape from by getting high.  These kids cope with life BY sniffing.  That’s how they get through. And sometimes that’s how I get through too.

“I’m not going to get addicted to it, I won’t let myself, and I know there are other ways of coping, but when paint is pushed on you when you’re feeling down it’s very easy to just get high.

“Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I hate how lots of people out there just think that kids who sniff are just a bunch of trouble makers running around mugging people and ruining their own lives, without stopping to think about the s— they’ve gone through to be sniffing in the first place, about whether if they were in those kids position they would be able to stop themselves sniffing.  Not that I’m saying that you think that about sniffers.”

Are drugs a problem for homeless youth? You bet, and we need to get these kids off the streets.  Sally is in a shelter now.  In later posts she is going through detox, so her protestation abut not going to get addicted is in vain.  

You will find a link to the homeless forums in the right hand column.  Anyone can read, anyone can join.  Free, and a real education.

Mayo Clinic LogoFor information you can give your kids about paint inhalants: Mayo Clinic.

This article is only one of more than 30 posts on homeless youth .  In addition there are more than 60 homeless veteran articles.   If you are interested in more, click one of these links.  Thank you for coming by.  Please consider adding me to your feed (see link below my picture.)  

Oldtimer