Today is Tuesday, November 11, 2015, a day of commemoration and celebration for a select number of men and women who are “Our American Veterans”. There are parades, ceremonies and speeches. There are picnics and free meals served to Veterans by nearly every major restaurant chain across the country. The banners and balloons celebrate and honor our Heroes; living and deceased. Our National Cemeteries across the country are filled with visitors today, many carrying flowers and wreaths to honor and memorialize the fallen; others simply sprucing up grave sites.
And then the clock struck midnight and the parade ended and the party was over. Reflections of a bright harvest moon reveal the silhouettes of hundreds of thousands of grave markers shining brightly; as the massive numbers of visitors exited the final resting place of our fallen Heroes. For the majority of these proud men and women that were celebrated and participated in the activities of the day, it is a day to remember. They returned home to and with their families to reflect and relive the fun and enjoyment of the day.
However, there is another contingent of proud men and women that served and sacrificed also, but they engage in different kinds of activities today; the same activities that they engage in every day. Their goal on this day, November 11, 2015, is to try to find food and shelter -to survive. Their activities are as varied as today’s weather patterns experienced across this great nation of ours. The goals of this group of Heroes is the same today as will be tomorrow and the day after and everyday thereafter, until they receive the assistance they need to recover from the traumas of the experiences that have rendered their current homeless condition.
I am speaking of our homeless Veterans, our Heroes that live on the streets across America. According to recent statistics * there are more than 49,000 Veterans living on the streets on any given night in our country; this number reflects a 33% decrease from the number of homeless Veterans counted in 2010. I think and you may agree, that if there is one, that is one too many.
I too am a Vietnam Veteran and today I enjoyed the blessing of returning home with my wife from a full day of food, fun and celebration.
Tonight however, my heart and prayers go out to the tens of thousands of Veterans attempting to find food and shelter. Weather conditions included damaging winds from a derecho, along with tornadoes that tore through parts of four Midwest states on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 2015, damaging buildings in one Iowa town and another striking Iowa’s busiest airport. For our homeless Veterans, these conditions and worse are a part of the life the must endure every day in order to survive.
“As I got on my knees to pray, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in an audible voice. He said, “You can and you must do more to solve this issue”. As I waited for further instructions, there was deafening silence. I remained on my knees for a short time longer, when I realized that He had already given me the plan and the instructions to work the plan. God had given me an idea to sell bottled water all across America. He had even given me an impressive label that honors and commemorates our Veterans –H2O (H) HONOR TO OUR HEROS™. As I reflected on this conversation, He had already given me corporate partners to help us sell the water.
Now it is simply a matter of reaching out to additional corporate American retailers, sharing our mission, asking for support and taking orders. Wait! There is another important requirement to make our plan work. We must make all of America aware of our plan to end Veteran homelessness and ask for their help as well.
“America, we are reaching out to you to raise your awareness and ask for your help to bring Veteran homelessness to an end”.
The solution is simple. We need you to participate in our campaign “H20(H) HONOR 2 OUR HEROES ‘. Your requirements are to think about the mission, talk to others about it and pray for our homeless Veterans – every single day. We are also asking you to drink more H2O (H) bottled water. It is currently available in all Schnucks locations in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin. It will soon be available in other stores and service stations where you shop. If it is not available, ask the store manager when it will be available.
Together we can eliminate the condition “Homeless Veteran”. We are a nation filled with gratitude and we are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy every day in America. And we must accelerate the efforts to get our Veterans off the streets and into safe permanent housing across the country. After all, they are responsible for our freedoms.
We have identified a niche need to provide furniture and other essential items when a Veteran makes a transition from homeless or transitional conditions to permanent housing. We call these items Veteran Move-In Kits (VMIK). Your purchases will generate funds to purchase these items. Ninety 90% of all earnings will be used to purchase (VMIK).
We also accept monetary contributions on line http://h2oh.us or
Tell your family, friends and social media network about this campaign.
Together we can meet America’s mandate to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2016. Let’s take this important mission viral America.
Thank you in advance for your personal efforts.
God bless you!!
Doug and Charlotte Elaine
E. Douglas and Charlotte Elaine McFarlin