Support Our Troops

I went to the movies and didn’t manage to miss the commercials and previews. There’s an amazing music video for the band ’3 Doors Down’, where they show the glories of the soldier’s life and recruit for the National Guard. Lots of music and yellow ribbons.

This story appeared in the Providence Journal. Although the topic is how the housing crash is hurting renters, there’s a deeper, and more disturbing story. A veteran is running through his severance pay, just trying to pay the bills. The war left him with chronic pain, but he’s working. His wife works. They need the kind of services that states are cutting .

Maria, a nursing assistant, and her children had spent the last four years on the move — Alaska, Texas, Rhode Island — coping with one crisis after another.

Her 18-year-old daughter, Nicole, was recovering from bone cancer treatments. Maria’s husband, Ken, had come home from fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq with a bad back, ringing ears and an Army severance that was running out.

The Simmons family had been living off Ken’s Army severance — about $16,000 after taxes — which they used to pay their rent, car loan, car insurance, utilities, groceries and more.

One day after they moved into their new rental house, a lawyer who represents a loan servicer for Deutsche Bank wrote a letter to their landlord stating that the property at 95 Oak Ave. was “to be sold at a foreclosure sale� on a date to be determined.

The letter stated that the first auction notice would run in The Providence Journal on Aug. 2.

Maria Simmons did not see the legal notice on Aug. 2. If she had, she said, she would not have written Oertel a $2,480 check on the same day for August and September’s rent…

Money was tight. Maria’s nursing certificate had expired, Ken had no job, and by August, his Army severance had nearly run out. He took a job at Wal-Mart for $9.95 an hour; each day, he took three Tylenol with codeine to dull his back pain enough so he could unload the trucks and stock shelves.

The family had to search for another house to rent, and were very happy to find one. I hope a lawyer will read this story and call them up.

Today the stock market is down, the Fed will probably do more to cushion the fall for the speculators. A house is just a commodity to trade. Rents are unaffordable and no one in politics has really addressed that. Our veterans today are coming home to a country that is taking more from the poor to give to the rich. The Veteran’s Hospital, social services, housing, are all being shorted. We need a change of direction.

It’s election year. Support our troops, bring them home, treat them right.

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One response

  1. i don’t know much music beyond the clash, talking heads and mavis staples, but my source who is in high school tells me three doors down is a real band.
    i seem to remember livingston taylor doing a military recruiting song, i always liked his brother james better anyway.

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