U.S. Veterans Initiative has been concerned about the plight of American Veterans long before reports of abuse surfaced. Examiner.com interviewed the District of Columbia office director today.
As the United States of America prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday on Friday the recent news reports of hundreds or maybe thousands of American veterans who were denied proper treatment and care by the Veterans Administration still causes anger and frustration for all Americans who believe that the freedoms we celebration are a direct result of the sacrifices that the men and women of our United States Armed Forces have made to keep America free.
Linda Clark-Holland, Program Manager, for U.S. Veteran’s Initiative is one of those concerned Americans who wants to do more than become angry and frustrated over the poor treatment that veterans have received. Clark-Holland is working to build a network of support that will protect veterans from the type of neglect that received national attention and scorn. She was deeply hurt over her brother's death and called the present writer at the time of his death from New York as her family gathered to honor her brother. Her comments were directed at her experience with the loss of her brother.
“I want to work with community leaders, schools, community organizations and individuals to make the plight of our veterans an everyday concern. Long before the Veteran’s Administration problems were brought to light. “I have been working to call attention to the needs of our veterans,” she said. U.S. Veteran’s Initiative has, indeed, been at the forefront of a national effort to help veterans find homes, jobs, and support systems to help them deal with the problems that have resulted from their service to their nation.
Today Clark-Holland sat down for an interview with Examiner.com to discuss the nature of the problems that veterans are currently facing. “We are in the process of opening a housing facility for our veterans that will help them transition from homelessness to the start of rebuilding their lives. We are planning a post Fourth of July event that will help the veterans to reconnect with the community. We need beds, furniture, and other donations to let our veterans know that we are going to support them and give them the help that need,” she said.
The problems that the current program director gets up to face each day do not appear when there is a media spotlight shining on veteran abuse. Clark-Holland was working to find food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare for veterans long before the first article about veteran abuse was published. “I know that many of our veterans are not getting the care that they need. I saw it myself, firsthand, in the way my brother was treated,” she said.
With the recent death of her brother, who was an American veteran, Clark-Holland saw that there were problems in the healthcare treatment that veterans received from the Veterans Administration. The present writer made trips to a Veteran’s Hospital as early as 2010 and saw the way that some veterans were being treated after they returned from battle. The work of the Veterans Administration is vital to helping soldiers make the transition to civilian life. Clark-Holland knows that no single organization can fulfill this awesome task alone. “We need to get the ear of leaders and to keep them informed about the needs of our veterans,” she said.
U.S. Veterans Initiative is the answer to the question, “Does anybody care?” For a veteran waiting for treatment all the fine speeches and parades don’t amount to much if no one is there when they are in desperate need. In her interview today Clark-Holland listed the upcoming programs and projects that her organization will work to make realities for veterans in the near future. Examiner.com will report on the progress of these programs. It is important to remember that although many of the veterans in need of the most urgent medical care may have fought in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, sixteen percent of the veterans who enter the U.S. VETS transitional housing program fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For all Americans who want to do more than to be angry and frustrated, Clark-Holland is asking for them to contact U.S. Veterans Initiative in Washington, D.C. Readers can write to Linda Clark-Holland at 1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 310, Washington, D.C. 20001. The telephone number is 202-545-1660. Donations are needed. Veterans made a promise when they signed up to fight for their country. They promised to give their lives in the defense of the United States of America. Clark-Holland is fighting to keep America’s promise to honor these men and women for their service. For information about the organization go to: www.usvetsinc.org.
America will celebrate the Fourth of July on Friday July 4, 2014.