The Team Pushed forward and relocated base camp to a new RV Park. It was quite a difference from the Williston Crossings.
We were graciously given a place to park Mobile Command and discovered that we were surrounded by Veterans. However, these Veterans were not so fortunate. We took time to get to know our neighbor and a few others. He was tearing apart an old wheelchair to repair his wheel chair. He had lost his legs in a work accident, after he got out of the service and was currently living in a 5x7 pull behind next to us. His story is too long and sad to repeat here, but we did capture the entire interview on camera and will be held for release. The story is heartbreaking. We met several other Veterans with somewhat similar stories, missing limbs, living in conditions that, lets just say, are not optimial. They all told the same story about the trouble they have getting to the VA, trouble with the VA and the limitations of care received at the VA.
This stop had to be one of the most eye opening so far. Considering we just came from a beautiful RV camp where everyone was successful, to this RV park where most were struggling to pay for the next weeks stay. it really puts things into perspective and makes one wonder how things can be so different. Now, Just for the record, we spoke to several Vets at the Williston Crossings RV park that had complained about the VA, however they, unlike the Vets at this RV park, choose to obtain addition medical coverage so that the VA was only a "back up" and NOT their primary form of healthcare.
One Vet told me a story about a Veteran Friend of his that when to the VA to see a specialist because of chest pains...
The story goes, the doctor told the Vet he needed to have an "incident" before the Dr. could authorize seeing a specialist... essentially, saying he needed to have a heart attack before he would be seen...
There are literally 10's of thousands of Veterans who are suffering because of a broken system. The public treats stray pets better than Homeless Veterans and yet without them, the freedom they take for granted would not be there. Their sacrifice is what enables the public to get their panties in a punch about the most inconsequential shit. So, just remember the next time you see a Veteran, Homeless or Not, imagine what they sacrificed to allow you to tweet stupidity about our great nation and know that your imagination is are puppy dogs and rainbows in comparison to what they actually saw and lived through.
So, the next time you see a guy with the gray beard and a hat that says "Vietnam Veteran" or "Korean Veteran" or just "Veteran", Reach out and thank him for his service. tell him you appreciate everything he or she sacrificed for our Nation and without Everything and I mean EVERYTHING you take for granted would be just a dream.
Hike Update - Team Pushed out 40+ miles and we will be advancing to the next RV camp. Ross "Hitman" Sykes continues to be our "Eyes in the Skies" and working his magic locating Veteran Friendly business who are helping us with the Project.