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From the Pentagon to life in a van

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posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 10:53 PM
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I found this story extremely poignant; after 30 years of serving his country with distinction and earning 3 masters degrees this vet lives out of his van because it's all he can afford.


After a 30-year military career in which he earned three graduate degrees, rose to the rank of colonel, and served as an aide to Pentagon brass, Robert Freniere can guess what people might say when they learn he's unemployed and lives out of his van:

Why doesn't this guy get a job as a janitor?

Freniere answers his own question: "Well, I've tried that."


This is just one vets story and there's tens of thousands of stories as sad or worse. America has lost it's promise and shames itself by it's neglect and poor treatment of veterans. Perhaps we're all victims in the endless war economy.

Read his story here: articles.philly.com...




posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:06 PM
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There should be help for these veterans IMO. Whatever they need should be provided, but it isn't. Not for our older veterans and not for our much younger veterans. I don't care what side of the war/s you stand on... these people fought with honorable intentions and have been rewarded with turned backs and fisted hands. I have seen it in my own family, and have heard of it from too many other families.

They have sacrificed family time, peaceful dreams, peace of mind, limbs, etc. for what they consider an honorable living. It's sickening to me that this is how so many end up. Whether the causes are PTSD or something else... there should be help for every last one of them.

Hopefully this man's story will be heard and he will get a job offer. It seems to me that he is not a man wanting a hand out, just a man needing a hand up at this moment in time and I pray he gets it.


+8 more 
posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 



I find it hard to believe that a retired colonel, receiving retirement pay can only afford to live out of his van. Some thing sounds fishy here.


The article says that he makes $40,000 per year from his pension...
edit on 8-1-2014 by AprilFooseball because: (no reason given)


+1 more 
posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by AprilFooseball
 


I find it hard to believe that a retired colonel, receiving retirement pay can only afford to live out of his van. Some thing sounds fishy here.

Same here, so I did a little checking:

For every year in service over 20, the colonel receives an additional 2.5 percent. The maximum is 75 percent of their base pay at 30 years. So, at 30 years, the base salary of $10,736.70. Multiply that by 75 percent, and it equals $8,052 per month.

That's more than twice as much as I ever earned in a month, working 50 hrs. a week.

See ya,
Milt



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:17 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:17 PM
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Why should we care?


Sounds like he is lazy.....god damn lazy!! I think the story might have a few holes in it....rather like the fukashima story.



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:18 PM
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AprilFooseball
reply to post by Asktheanimals
 



I find it hard to believe that a retired colonel, receiving retirement pay can only afford to live out of his van. Some thing sounds fishy here.


The article says that he makes $40,000 per year from his pension...
edit on 8-1-2014 by AprilFooseball because: (no reason given)


FYI


He receives an annual pension from the military of more than $40,000.

Unable to return to the home he shared with his estranged wife, and faced with expenses including bills for two sons in college and debts that mounted when he maintained a nicer lifestyle, he took up a nomadic existence.



Regardless, our societies priority are all messed up. We allowed our leaders to bailout the highest earning investors and spend trillions in helping foreign countries while allowing our vets to be homeless? 1 homeless vet is to many in my book if we got enough to sprinkle around the world.



edit on 19131America/ChicagoWed, 08 Jan 2014 23:19:33 -0600up3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:22 PM
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I'm going to assume he has ex-wives and child support taking all of his pension.

Homeless veterans are qualified for free housing. All they have to do is apply!

www.va.gov...
edit on 8-1-2014 by jrod because: add link



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:28 PM
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jrod

Homeless veterans are qualified for free housing. All they have to do is apply!

www.va.gov...
edit on 8-1-2014 by jrod because: add link


Was not aware of that , glad to hear it and thanks for the information. However it doesn't say free nor did I see how much they actually subsidized?



The Veteran then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:33 PM
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reply to post by interupt42
 


Of course you are absolutely correct. Our nations priority's are totally out of whack.



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by interupt42
 


Regardless, our societies priority are all messed up.

Yeah... It seems the good Colonel's are too. My father retired from the Air Force in 1971 as a Senior Master Sergeant (E-8), and received about $540 a month in retirement pay. I wasn't able to attend college, but we lived in a house, and all four of us ate pretty well.

See ya,
Milt
edit on 276America/Chicago1RAmerica/Chicago2014-01-08T23:38:40-06:00Wednesday00000040America/Chicago by BenReclused because: Typo



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by interupt42
 




Was not aware of that , glad to hear it and thanks for the information. However it doesn't say free nor did I see how much they actually subsidized?


Nor does it say how long the wait is before receiving such housing. I've dealt with VA sh#* - nothing is easy OR FAST. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite.



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:45 PM
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Maluhia
reply to post by interupt42
 




Was not aware of that , glad to hear it and thanks for the information. However it doesn't say free nor did I see how much they actually subsidized?


Nor does it say how long the wait is before receiving such housing. I've dealt with VA sh#* - nothing is easy OR FAST. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite.


I can attest to that. I have rarely gotten more angry than I have when I would have to go with my grandfather to the VA Hospital. I often walked away feeling that he would have gotten better care and more respect at a veterinarian hospital and that is pathetic.

Government is known for red tape tactics and sometimes folks give up trying to get the help they need because of it (as planned).



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:47 PM
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interupt42
He receives an annual pension from the military of more than $40,000.

Unable to return to the home he shared with his estranged wife, and faced with expenses including bills for two sons in college and debts that mounted when he maintained a nicer lifestyle, he took up a nomadic existence.


Yup, sounds like Mr. Pentagon-Colonel caught the D.C. bug and decided it was ok to spend freely beyond one's means. There are people all over the nation working full-time jobs making less than 40k a year, and they'll never even see a pension. While it's cute the author wants to appeal to the emotions attached to the label of "Vet", instead of appealing to readers' logic and reason... I don't find myself feeling sorry for this man at all.

He chose to spend beyond his means, he's choosing to "live a nomadic lifestyle", and he still has more options than many Vets who are far more deserving for the sacrifices they've made.
edit on 1/8/14 by redmage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2014 @ 11:58 PM
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reply to post by redmage
 


Don't disagree with any of that , but he is surely more deserving than the bankers we bailed out. Those bankers took a risk with their money he took a risk with his life having served in the armed forces.

Like I said our societies priorities are all messed up.
edit on 59131America/ChicagoWed, 08 Jan 2014 23:59:41 -0600000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:00 AM
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Kangaruex4Ewe
There should be help for these veterans IMO. Whatever they need should be provided, but it isn't. Not for our older veterans and not for our much younger veterans.


There is...immense help. Insane amount of help actually. From money for schooling and on-the-job training, to preferred hiring status within the Federal Government and some State Governments. What else should be done barring the idea of forcing people to higher former military members?

More to Add:

There are huge private endeavors to hire veterans and are pushing hard to leverage their skills. One site that I was at, had a nationwide database of nearly 10000 full time jobs, with more in the part-time section and some in the contractor section.
edit on 9-1-2014 by ownbestenemy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:04 AM
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ownbestenemy

Kangaruex4Ewe
There should be help for these veterans IMO. Whatever they need should be provided, but it isn't. Not for our older veterans and not for our much younger veterans.


There is...immense help. Insane amount of help actually. From money for schooling and on-the-job training, to preferred hiring status within the Federal Government and some State Governments. What else should be done barring the idea of forcing people to higher former military members?


I was not only referring to housing the veterans in my OP. When I said... "Whatever they need" It also includes proper medical care, therapy, etc. There are many charities out there for our veterans because enough isn't being done in all areas.

ETA - I am aware of the hiring efforts of a few places for veterans. I am of the mind that many do not work because they have other "issues" they deal with upon coming home that most of us never have to. There will always be joblessness and homelessness among veterans, some will refuse ANY help offered, and I am sure some may not want to work... just because. But I know some do want to work very badly, but their head is not mentally in the same place their heart may be.

I think the mental health of our veterans is at the root of most of the homeless among them and that is tragic. I think if more were to be done on the mental side of it, the work side of it would even out a bit more.
edit on 1/9/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:07 AM
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Kangaruex4Ewe
I was not only referring to housing the veterans in my OP. When I said... "Whatever they need" It also includes proper medical care, therapy, etc. There are many charities out there for our veterans because enough isn't being done in all areas.


I wasn't even referring to housing. But overall, the Government itself has about a D- grade in benefits it promised. Combat veterans should receive Tri-Care (as if you were retired) in my opinion. Though most qualify for VA disability and subsequent medical benefits; ask any vet how their wait time at the VA has been....it id deplorable.

I wasn't trying to paint a completely rosy picture, but I am not going to sit by while we as taxpayers are funding huge amounts of programs and private industry is also putting capital in place, to help vets and retirees out.



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:20 AM
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ownbestenemy

Kangaruex4Ewe
I was not only referring to housing the veterans in my OP. When I said... "Whatever they need" It also includes proper medical care, therapy, etc. There are many charities out there for our veterans because enough isn't being done in all areas.


I wasn't even referring to housing. But overall, the Government itself has about a D- grade in benefits it promised. Combat veterans should receive Tri-Care (as if you were retired) in my opinion. Though most qualify for VA disability and subsequent medical benefits; ask any vet how their wait time at the VA has been....it id deplorable.

I wasn't trying to paint a completely rosy picture, but I am not going to sit by while we as taxpayers are funding huge amounts of programs and private industry is also putting capital in place, to help vets and retirees out.


I understand what you are saying and maybe I am just too close to it to see as clearly. Both grandfathers served. My father served. I currently have 2 nephews serving who have pulled numerous tours. They left as boys I knew and returned as men even their wives didn't know. So, I tend to judge a little quicker because of that. I know they have not gotten help they have needed before for various reasons and it should not be that way for anyone who served.

Most issues veterans face stem from some sort of mental issue and the VA is overloaded, and too busy to care about single cases. People slip through the cracks all too often. I think if they concentrated more on the mental status of those returning home, they may be able to save money in the long run by avoiding some of the other issues like homelessness and joblessness.
edit on 1/9/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2014 @ 12:36 AM
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reply to post by interupt42
 


While I disagree with the flurry of corporate bailouts over the past decade, slapping the "free market" in the face,... trying to link the two issues seems spurious.

The man makes a comfortable pension where he could live in many parts of the country with more than enough to cover normal monthly expenses. According to the article he's also had at least two jobs recently, one as a substitute teacher and one as a consultant, where he apparently felt like they didn't "fit" him. Many Americans would jump at those chances and would gladly make such job opportunities "fit".

I have a sneaking suspicion that once the divorce from his estranged wife is finalized, and her lawyers find relatively "nothing" to go after, things will magically work out for him and he'll find a job that he finally feels "fits" him.
edit on 1/9/14 by redmage because: (no reason given)





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