The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 9, 2014

Support effort to help vets

The Commercial-News

---- — The Department of Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System medical campus in Danville’s east side provides care for thousands of military veterans across Illinois and in west central Illinois.

In addition to traditional medical care, Illiana provides long-term care for veterans as well. It ranks among the nation’s leaders in developing independent housing for veterans. Local officials plan to expand the unique program, which puts 10 veterans in their own building with full medical and other care.

With all of this assistance, however, there remains a segment of veterans who still could use a helping hand.

According to Susan Gutterridge, president of the Midwest Veterans Association, there are as many as 58,000 homeless veterans in the United States.

Those who wore the nation’s uniform deserve better. Gary Knight and local volunteers are working with Gutteridge’s group — the details can be found in a story on today’s front page — to provide assistance to these homeless veterans.

People can find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons, from choosing to live that way to not having any other choice but to live on the streets. For those who want a safe place, there should be more help.

“These are people who have served their country and shouldn’t have to worry about a place to sleep at night,” Gutterridge said.

The local VA and groups such as the Midwest Veterans Association want to provide a better life for U.S. military veterans. Their efforts deserve everyone’s support.