Every night roughly 49,000 Veterans find themselves on the street homeless. To put this in perspective, in 2018 there were roughly 8,400 US soldiers in Afghanistan according to the Guardian. This means that there are roughly 6 homeless Veterans for every soldier who served in Afghanistan.
Homeless Veterans are found all over the US. Here in Cherokee County GA, our intake and processing of homeless Veterans is up 32% from last year and what is causing us more concern is that we are seeing more female Veterans, some with small children, as well as Senior Veterans who are homeless, Indicated Jim Lindenmayer, Director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program who is also an Army Veteran and a Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Again this year on December 21st, which is the longest night of the year, we will hold a candlelight Vigil remembering all of the Veterans who are homeless during this night. The Vigil will again be held at the nation’s only Homeless Veterans Statue that resides at the Cherokee Veterans Park located at 7345 Highway 20 E, Canton, GA 30115
The marble statue depicts two life size Veterans, one male and one female, standing on a pentagon base displaying the five branches of the military. Inscribed on the base is the phrase, “No Veteran who fights for this country, should have to fight for a job, a roof over their head, or the care they need when they come home”, that depicts their plight faced in society today. The two statues do not have any rank, as Veterans of all ranks are subject to being homeless. Our program alone has handled Veterans from the rank of private to Lt Colonel, and have covered every branch of the service, Lindenmayer went on to add.
The event is scheduled to take place at Sundown which is currently targeted at 5:33 PM. The public is welcome and there is no charge for this event.