According to this Ann Arbor News article:
Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report released this past week by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. [...]
Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job. The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars and says 400 of them have participated in its programs specifically targeting homelessness.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness based the findings of its report on numbers from Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau. Data from 2005 estimated that 194,254 homeless people out of 744,313 on any given night were veterans. In comparison, the VA says that 20 years ago, the estimated number of veterans who were homeless on any given night was 250,000.
Those are shocking numbers, and should be an embarrassment to every American - especially those that thump their chests and shout "support the troops!" without understanding what that really means.
At the end of the day, supporting the troops means getting them out of Iraq. And taking care of them when they come home. Part of that needs to be a GI Bill more akin to the original one - you know, that final piece of New Deal legislation, which conservatives love to hate (the New Deal). Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) write as much in a recent New York Times editorial. Full educational funding, unemployment benefits, low interest mortgage loans. Just like the original bill - not the Montgomery GI Bill currently in place.
And maybe the Bush administration should help reservists get their jobs back...