As we celebrate our nation’s veterans, those of us who live in Los Angeles County or the city of LA, need also to be aware of the latest facts about military veterans and homelessness.
LA County has long had the nation’s highest number of homeless military veterans—nearly 3457 according to the 2022 count by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
Almost 79 percent of those 3457 are unsheltered, with the overall homeless veteran numbers estimated to be still higher in 2023, according to HUD.
On that topic, as Grace Murray of the LA Times wrote earlier this year, the 12-year fight continues over the promise to build housing for vets on the park-like, 388-acre West L.A. Department of Veterans Affairs campus — which was granted to the government specifically to house veterans.
That job needs to get done.
Yet, as we remain mindful of the above problems, we can also honor all our vets with the 2009 performance by EmmyLou Harris posted below. She is singing a song she wrote for her WWII veteran dad, about all the things she wished she’d asked him. She wrote the song, titled Bang the Drum Slowly, with the help of musician Guy Clark.
It never gets old.