NVF Board Member Kevin Ruelas, who lives in Colorado, brought his son out to see and experience our street outreach program. Andrew accompanied Gerald Hillard and Mike Washington. Their mission was to identify homeless Veterans and let them know the NVF could help with accessing benefits and other resources. As on all outreach runs, the NVF staff and volunteers distributed water, some non-perishable food and on this day, socks and personal hygiene items.
Andrew, a high school student, said “The experience showed me that there are a lot of homeless people, not just homeless Veterans. Still, a large percent of the homeless population are Vets.”
He shared his experience during a school assembly, describing the Outreach van and handing out socks and toothbrushes. “A lasting image is when I was handing out backpacks and how that put a smile on my face and theirs. I felt a connection to everyone because my dad is a Veteran. That made me feel closer to them.” Asked what comes first to his mind about the Outreach run, he says, “I got to help homeless Veterans and hopefully made their lives a little easier.”
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.