By Robert L. Rosebrock
On January 25th, the Los Angeles VA held a “groundbreaking” ceremony celebrating our U.S. government’s contract to spend $20 million to rehab a vacant, rat-invested 65-year old building to house homeless Veterans. The project will not be completed for another 18 months and upon completion, it will provide a mere 55 beds.
Grown men aren’t supposed to cry, but last Friday I came close to it as tears welled up while witnessing this reprehensible joke against 20,000 of our disabled and disadvantaged Veterans in Los Angeles who are homeless and hungry and forced to live in back-alley squalor.
To celebrate this dedication ceremony, the VA constructed a large VIP tent to keep the politicians, government bureaucrats and invited dignitaries “sheltered” from the rain and cold.
Moreover, a vast spread of food and beverage assured these “non-homeless” invitees that they would not leave this government-funded event hungry.
How misguided all of this was as the tent should have been constructed at the front gate of the VA to welcome homeless Veterans to their rightful “Home” and provide them with the emergency shelter and care they desperately need and deserve.
For the past 38 years, Henry Waxman has been the elected public servant entrusted to ensure that this exclusively deeded land would be permanently maintained as a National Home for our disabled and disadvantaged Veterans.
Today, there’s a public dog park, public community park, public golf course, public theaters and other gross misuse of this sacred land, including a state-of-the-art collegiate baseball diamond occupied by Henry’s alma mater, UCLA.
And, oh by the way, non-Veteran Henry protested the Vietnam War while attending UCLA getting his law degree.
Today, 47% of all homeless Veterans are from the Vietnam War era that ended nearly 38 years ago.
Over the past decade, Henry voted along with other members of Congress to approve more than $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) to spend on two major wars.
Let there be no misunderstanding: Our U.S. government did not patch up 65-year old tanks and planes to fight either of these wars.
To the contrary, we provided our brave men and women serving in our United States Armed Forces with the very best military equipment in the world, and still too many have returned as broken human beings.
Incredulously, the best Congressman Waxman could cobble together in their behalf is a pitiful $20 million to patch up a vacant, rat-infested building with a morbid past to serve a mere 50+ chronically homeless Veterans and it will not be ready for another year and a half.
Even worse, it took the Congressman nearly a decade to consummate Friday’s so-called groundbreaking ceremony for just one dysfunctional building in his District during the same time two major wars were being waged overseas.
Henry Waxman is the ranking member of the Commerce and Energy Committee and under his “leadership” he arranged $60 million for a worthless solar panel project that was virtually built overnight on Veterans property.
This misuse of taxpayer money will not remove one homeless Veteran from the dangerous streets of Los Angeles and it will take more than 60 years to recoup this boondoggle and shameful waste of money.
On the other hand, over nearly four decades of public service, Henry Waxman never appropriated one dollar for one blanket for one homeless Veteran within his Los Angeles District, our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans.
This is a very sick joke that should bring tears to any patriotic American who loves their freedom and independence that was made possible at the sacrifice of so many Veterans who became mentally and physically disabled and need immediate housing and care.
If our U.S. government can spend more than a trillion dollars to provide the very best of resources for our national defense, then we must demand the same responsibility toward taking care of those who bore the brunt of the battle.Vacant, rat-infested structure on Veterans property
If our U.S. government can “nation build” around the world after the devastation of war, then this same U.S. government can demolish these antiquated, asylum-looking structures and build a modern Veterans Home here in the land of the free that the same devastation of war dealt to America’s brave warriors.
As we weep in shame, is there just one patriotic public official who will step forward and declare Los Angeles a “state of emergency” and demand a Homeless Veteran Humanitarian Relief Project on the grounds of the largest VA in the nation?
Will at least one patriotic public servant exercise some leadership and listen to The Prayer of the Veterans Revolution?
“Let us pray that those who defend and care for America, never defend and care for America the way America’s so-called leaders have defended and cared for them.”
U.S. Army, 1965-67, Schofield Barracks, Hqs., U.S Army, Hawaii. Director, The Veterans Revolution, Captain, the Old Veterans Guard, and Director, We the Veterans.