MIA: Missing in America

“The federal government should not have to be sued into giving veterans with mental illnesses and brain injuries the care they need so they don’t end up living in the street. But it has come to that.”New York Times Editorial, June 8, 2011

Sgt. Freddy Cordova, an Iraq War veteran who served through four deployments in Mosul and Tikrit, now works with the National Veterans Foundation, finding and helping homeless vets on the streets of Southern California. As a result of his service, Freddy now suffers from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and severe depression, mental health conditions he sees in many, if not most, of the homeless vets he interacts with every day.

Los Angeles is the homeless veteran capital of America, with an estimated 8,000 former servicemembers living on its streets. Los Angeles is also the home to a 387 acre parcel of land, specifically deeded to the United States in 1888 as a home for disabled veterans, so you’d think there would be an easy solution. But this is not what the land is being used for. As CBS Evening News reported on Tuesday, the land is being rented out to private companies, used for schools’ athletic fields and even turned into a golf course (!):

CBS Video Page

The ACLU of Southern California has filed a lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of severely disabled homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area, asking the courts to enforce the promise made when this land was donated to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “The VA could quite literally end veteran homelessness in Los Angeles if this land were used as it was intended,”said Mark Rosenbaum, Chief Counsel of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.

Let’s hope, for the sake of the many veterans missing in America, that the VA changes course and starts using the land in Los Angeles for the purpose it was intended: providing a home for disabled veterans, a purpose it served ably for more than eight decades.

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Kevin Muir

Interestingly, I feel like Governor's Island just outside your window closely resembles this situation. The number of buildings, apartments, bedrooms, etc, that could be used for our vets is astounding. People are willing to run around waving flags but don't ask them to pay to house our homeless vets...no that would be too much big government.

john bryant

If we didn't pay so much for welfare and government workers we would have money to help the deserving vets.We spend the money on the ones that never helped or gave to this country and never will and ignore the ones that serve and pay the taxes, its a shame but I think its to late for a change,look at Greece.



Patriotic Bill

Typical of War Hawks. Old men send young men to defend their interests, but don't expect any help when you return home. Bush wrapped himself in the flag, while he and his cronies defunded the VA... Repugnant Bastards!


Thanks a lot for lumping mental illness in with head injury! Very uncool!


What the hell is wrong with these people...these vets gave everything and in return we give them nothing. Hopefully justice will serve right and finally give these heroes a home


Its about time this is what always happens THE VETERANS GET F%^&*D


hmmm.. can't seem to connect to your FB page.. FB is screaming 'Untrusted.. bad..' etc.. and won't let me in apparently for my own protection...


I am an Iraqi War Vet with PTSD. I was deployed and I returned to my civilian federal firefighter position. But as soon as my bosses found out about my PTSD, they wanted my medical records, even though I have had no work problems. I refused and then suspended without pay, then ordered to turn over the same medical records, I refused so they fired me.
I just wish to be treated fairly and not be looked at like I am defective.

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