Advocacy group holds rallies across the country for homeless veterans

homeless_veteran_by_XAG_on_Flickr Falls Church, VA:  Beginning in December 2007 and running through February 2008, the president of the Circle of Friends for American Veterans will again lead a circuit of rallies across America to raise support for the homeless veterans on our streets.  The rallies will feature a color guard, speakers, an open bar, and recognition of veterans who are in attendance.  Invited speakers include 2008 Presidential candidates or their representatives.  A complete schedule of rallies can be found at the end of this press release.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are approximately 300,000 homeless veterans on our streets any given night.  About 3,000 of the valiant troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are now homeless veterans.  The VA only funds 12,000 beds a years for these homeless veterans.

The burden for supporting homeless veterans comes to rest on the approximately 250 not-for-profit transitional facilities in our country. Only about 50 of these receive any kind of VA funding, and even then, this funding is inadequate.  Closer to home, the VA funds only 56 beds for homeless veterans for the entire state of Iowa.  To read the full story and to check for rallies in your area, click here.

Erin and Sam in the news:  Erin and her mother Julie were interviewed recently by Kristina Peterson with the Palo Alto Daily News.  The interview was printed in their Sunday paper this past weekend.  The full story can be read hear.

Sam’s medical status:  Erin said she’s hearing more and more grunting and groaning from Sam in the last 4-5 days.  Still no words, but Sam is getting better at opening his mouth and using his tongue—all good signs that his brain is working hard to relearn how to talk again.  He is also becoming more and more aware of his surroundings and/or alert when he is awake. 

Sam has been getting better and better at answering Erin’s or the therapists questions without being prompted.  Today the therapist read off about 30 questions to Sam and he got most of them correct.  He answered a few of them wrong towards the end, but that was probably because he was getting bored or tired.  The therapist told him when they began, that some of the questions were going to seem a little silly.  The first question she asked him was “are you awake?”, and he turned towards her and gave her a look like, “you’ve got to be kidding!”.  Both Erin and the therapist broke out into laughter.  He was in a really good mood during the question/answer period, and Erin told him he gets extra points for the added sarcasm.

Erin sent me a text message this evening that said, “Sam didn’t have a headache today!”…so it looks like his migraine medicine is starting to take effect. 

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3 Responses to Advocacy group holds rallies across the country for homeless veterans

  1. Erin Nichols says:

    A huge thank you to everyone who has sent us cards and/or gifts. Your prayers and merry wishes are most appreciated. I read every card outloud to Sam. His walls are covered with Christmas cards now. A special thank you to Park Elementary School. We got your beautiful cards today and Sam’s room looks great with your Christmas art covering the walls.
    I’ve already lost track of who sent what. If I thought we would be getting so many cards I would have kept better track of them, but i didn’t. We’re getting 3-10 cards in the mail a day. Thank you all for your love and support. God bless you and have a Merry Christmas.

  2. Hi Erin & Sam,

    We are greatful for the updates and love to read your blogs and hear that sam is improving day by day. Christine and I wish you a Happy holiday and a promising new year both of you and your families are in our prayers.

  3. Hello all; I am sorry that I have not checked in for a while; we tried to come to Palo Alto last weekend, but could not work it out with the flights; we will try again after the 1st of the year.
    Lu 2:14
    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    Jesus came to give us that peace, so my prayer is that you have peace, and that God will continue to raise Sam up. Glory to God in the Highest!!

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