Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Personal Story Segment: Homeless Vets with Mental Disorders

Last night, I had a very fortunate but sad run in with a Homeless Vet in Athens. I know not every homeless person in Athens is a homeless vet, but I believe this guy.

Brett and I were eating with Josh and Carey, the creators of GayinAthens and as we left, we were met by a nice gentlemen who was handing out papers warning us of the "planes that are out to control our minds." My first thought was to laugh. I mean, who would believe that planes were trying to control us, but upon listening to his story, even I felt compelled to pull out my wallet and give him what little cash I had.

This man was extremely nice and I think he had a mental disorder. Now I am no doctor of course, but if you believe the "story of the planes" enough to write it down and try to give it out to people for cash, then I am going to have the think that there might have been something wrong.

The other paper he handed me had the history of the city of Athens. What it was named after, who was the mayor, lots of basic facts you could have found anywhere. This man had taken the time to write it down. I handed him the $3 I had in my back pocket and thanked him for the elementary, but informative, paper he had given me.

It was not the man that bothered me, it was myself. I sat inside Last Resort (which I highly recommend) and had a $5 beer and bought three slices of cake for the table. It totaled about $20. Then, I was thinking, that moment is gone. The been is gone, the cake is gone, and all I really have are the memories. But from that dinner, I am not going to remember the beer or the cake (as good as they were), I am going to remember the conversation Brett and I had with Josh and Carey and the poor man I met outside in the parking lot.

Hopefully, in the future, I can spend $20 on helping homeless people and $3 on myself. I do not encourage anyone to actually give the homeless people in Athens $20 directly, but there are other ways to help.

Give money to the NE GA Foodbank.

Let us also remember that "Support our Troops" does not just mean while they are on the BattleField. PTSD and other mental disorders are rampant for returning veterans. Support them too!