A common sense plan to end homelessness among veterans

LOS ANGELES – The other day, a military veteran told me he was just out of the service and was homeless.  He asked how he could resolve this situation. 

That started me thinking. It occurred to me that the government, specifically the Veterans Administration should make available to all veterans that are homeless, as well as their accompanying immediate family, temporary free housing on inactive military bases in the United States, until they are able to find a job and affordable housing. This is the least we can do for the men and women that have been in the service of the country. And for the new veterans, who are returning to find an unemployment crisis like never before. They could receive job training as well to help them transition.

Of course the question is how to pay for this in this period of low government revenue caused by the tax breaks given to the millionaires, the banks, the corporations and the Wall Street stock transactions and by a military budget that takes more than half of all discretionary spending in our federal budget.

The obvious answer is raise the taxes significantly for those mentioned above and reduce the inflated military budget.

Given the fact that the majority of our representatives in Congress don’t want to tax the groups above, it seems to me that since there are only about 200 countries in the world and we have over 750 U.S. military bases spread among these foreign countries we could close many of these down with out losing any defense capability and bring those troops home to bases located here at home. This would be a huge savings that would still pay for the active military and also pay for the emergency veteran and family temporary housing program. 

Keeping military bases in foreign countries is very expensive and we don’t need all 750 – really more than that – given the technology we now have in order to maintain defense.

Close down the redundant bases abroad and give veterans and their families some respect and dignity is what I say. 

Photo: This Iraq veteran lives under a bridge. Color was added by photographer. (Big Grey Mare/CC)






Ismael Parra
Ismael Parra

Ismael Parra is the Southern California Chair of the National Writers Union, a musician, and writer. Ismael Parra es el presidente de la Unión Nacional de Escritores del Sur de California, músico y escritor.