We are failing our veterans. As a society, we are failing those who risked their lives to protect our freedoms. If you need evidence of this, look no further than the following story…
An 82-year-old veteran known as George recently died just hours after he was evicted from a city center squat. The Mirror UK reports that though an autopsy has not yet been conducted, he is believed to have passed away from bronchial pneumonia — a simple condition which could have been remedied, had he received help in time.
George had been living in an abandoned building in Manchester, along with 12 other homeless ex-servicemen. They were all evicted, however; this, in turn, forced them to brave the cold. Because George was in bad shape, his “band of brothers” walked with him to Salford Royal Hospital. It was there that he died, with four of him by his bedside.
To add insult to injury, George proudly wore his military service medals at all times. According to reports, he lived on the street for roughly 20 years.
Salford Armed Forces Veterans Network (SAFVN) did not know George personally, but condemned his unnecessary death nonetheless. The group said his death was a “damning indictment” on support services that are available for veterans who are homeless across the country. Chris Barwood, chairman of the SAFVN, added that George was a “forgotten hero” who served his country but had become “invisible.”
Barwood called for a national campaign to find homes for al ex-soldiers who are sleeping on the streets. She said, “Let George be the last homeless soldier on the streets. Let us ensure that no other veteran who has served his country is ever homeless or hungry in the future.”
Barwood added: “It seems incredible to me that we are turning our backs on our troops who have taken the Queen’s shilling, sworn the oath of allegiance and offered up their lives to keep us safe and yet in return we do nothing to ensure that they have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies for their remaining years.”
Thanks to the SAFVN, George’s relatives are now being tracked down and contacted. The group is also planning the veteran’s funeral. Said Barwood, “Even if we find out just his Army number or military number then we can trace him. We don’t even have a surname. All we know about him was that he would always wear his medals. We believe that he has been on the streets for 20 years.
The strength and nobility of a society can be measured by how its most vulnerable — the poor, the homeless, the young, and the elderly — are treated. Clearly, improvements are needed all around the world.
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here