Have you ever gone on a trip or a drive and seen the unexpected and wondered how and why this could happen? Such as extraordinary buildings and works of architecture sitting in unimaginable states of disrepair, a car sitting in a field somewhere and wondering who drove it there and left it, or buildings or highways just not finished This has happened on a more and more frequent basis as my wife and I would travel and begin to see an increasing number of persons sitting on the side of the road with tattered military uniforms looking for money and food. Somewhere I slowly got the urge to find out more.

Being a stock holder of this great country called the United States of America I went looking for answers, much like a corporate stock holder. A stock which just kept wondering why the company they own stock in is not operating up to the high standards one would expect . Why do those called upon to protect our nation from aggressors are not protected from the internal bureaucracies of neglect and red tape of their employer? The difference is I have no desire to sell my stock in America.

The answers were somewhat alarming: I discovered over the course of a year 495,400 United States of America veterans experience some type of homelessness, with an estimated 195,827 experiencing homelessness every night. Our veterans represent approximately 26% of all of the homeless in America today. To provide a perspective of how many persons 195,827 equates to, Mobile Alabama has a population of 198,915, Yonkers, New York 196,086, and Spokane Washington 195,629..

In Washington DC, the home to Commander-in-Chief and all of our other federal leaders and elected officials, over 7.5% of those unfortunate enough not to have a home are United States Veterans. During the same time I was looking for answers I was not able to locate one past or present congressman, senator, president, vice president or cabinet member with a tin cup on the side of the road just looking for a meal.

I am one of a multitude of United State citizens who have not served in the military or lost a family member due to military service, but understand they are the true protectors of our constitution and freedoms. My father returned from World War II unscathed and I have not been put in a position to be put in harm’s way to protect the freedoms and rights of others. Not everyone has had this luxury. Many of our fellow citizens have lost brothers, sisters, mothers or fathers, husbands and wives defending the rights of their friends, neighbors and leaders only to watch their loved ones fade into the darkness and abyss of our streets.

Going on a hunt for where our tax money goes, I found some very alarming information; I could not locate one elected official utilizing their never ending request for earmark money for funds to solve this insulting problem. (We used to call earmarks, “pork-barrel projects” until we found the word earmark was easier to the ears.) Still, we have had major discussions concerning the cost-overruns on the President’s new helicopter fleet, the size of the Speaker of the House’s jet; trains and bridges to nowhere and, have endless amounts of money for museums bearing the names of our elected officials. Somehow the money is always located for these projects, and surprisingly enough, our leaders have also found money to fund a toilet museum in Ireland.

During the same time, we the citizens’ of America have seen conditions for our soldiers returning from war to be unfit as a veterinary hospital and only through the donations of private citizens built a state-of-the art rehabilitation center called The Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas. Still, not one earmark for those whose responsibility is to protect the citizens of the United States of America and the world.

Let me put this all in perspective–a family owns a farm or other form of business and although some family members work in the business, all of the family members enjoy the benefits of the business. Due to some unfortunate accident or event a few of the family members become injured in the course of their work and become permanently disabled. This disability causes them to walk or travel in a wheel chair, up and down your neighborhood looking for food and shelter. During the same time period these unfortunate family members are scouring for the basics of life, those individuals who control the family business continue to travel throughout the world in their fancy cars, private jets, and enjoy all of the other amenities pertaining to the finer points of life, leaving the responsibilities of the disabled family members to the neighbor’s kindness, generosity and donations.

This is a story of Robert, one who gave all and received…