The Fourth of July is a great time of year to celebrate friends, family, and beautiful weather. Personally it’s my favorite holiday because of these things; and I’ve always been a sucker for a good fireworks display. But what does this day really mean to me? What do those thunderous colored streaks in the sky represent? The birth of a wonderful nation. July 4, 1776- a date every American should know. I am definitely no history buff but I know that one!
My Parents, My Pride
My mom and my dad joined the Army Reserves shortly after they graduated high school. They only grew up 150 miles apart, but it took them over 4,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to meet at the American military base in Boebligen, Germany. A few years later, they married and started a family as my dad continued to serve and eventually retire from over 20 years of service in the Army National Guard. So while I never joined the military, I grew up with it all around me. We have been very fortunate.
The Sad Truth
Veterans serve our country with honor, and because of them we enjoy our freedom. But unfortunately due to poverty, lack of support from family and friends, substance abuse or mental health issues, unstable living conditions, or other reasons, over 67,000 US veterans do not have a home to go to on any given night. Many other veterans are considered at risk of homelessness. In one year, nearly 145,000 veterans spend at least one night in an emergency shelter.
Talbert House was proud to serve over 400 veterans last year. Most of these veterans were served at the Mt. Airy Center, which is a homeless shelter for men where approximately half are veterans. Talbert House helps these men with substance abuse and mental health issues get back on their feet while providing temporary shelter until they are able to secure a job and proper living arrangements.
If you haven’t heard, Talbert House is relocating the shelter to a better location where an expected 70 men will be served. With the VA, public transportation, and community services and employment opportunities nearby, the new location will be ideal for these veterans and men of Cincinnati.
I’m truely honored to be a part of an organization that is able to help make a difference in the lives of those who have made great sacrifices for mine. As we celebrate the birth of our nation this week, don’t hesitate to stop a service man or woman in uniform and offer a ”thanks” for all they do.Resources: www.va.gov Talbert House Relocates Mt. Airy Center 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) — 24/7 hotline for Homeless Veterans