- Posted September 4, 2013 by
Greewsboro, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
From hobby to job
Invisble Veterans in America
I should like to extend an invitation to the your show with to meet with a delegation of American Veterans to be chosen from each branch of the armed services to discuss four issues facing former service men and women today. These issues are homelessness, veteran’s benefits, jobs, and education, each of which is of paramount importance that we as a nation have a moral responsibility to address.
The week of April 15, 2013 was undoubtedly remarkable in the history of the United States because of the five major news events that occurred within a five day period. Chanel 8 Fox News in Greensboro, North Carolina had originally scheduled to broadcast a feature story entitled “Invisible Veterans” on Monday, April 15th. Understandably, the story was postponed to accommodate the ongoing coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Amid the barrage of other stories breaking that week, the television station decided to air the report on Thursday, April 18th because it felt the significance of “Invisible Veterans” was vital. I was the focus of that story by reporter Bob Buckley, who, in spite of the many overshadowing news that week felt the Triad viewing public needed to hear and see the story of a former United States Serviceman as a way of highlighting the plight of a shocking number of our veterans today.
For three weeks the cameras followed me around recording my life at work; speaking to a group of fifth grade school children during multicultural week in which I re-enacted the role of Ned Griffin, the African American who substituted for his master in the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Guilford Courthouse; my volunteer involvement in sports with disadvantaged children here in Greensboro; and my floating exhibit featuring personal artifacts from African American soldiers ranging from the Buffalo Soldiers to Iraq. Faced with a burgeoning schedule that week, Chanel 8 Fox News was convinced that the example of my life, which is common to thousands other African American Veterans, and yet unique in the way I have been able to move beyond my circumstance, needed to be broadcast. The television station also felt it was important to bring attention to today’s “Invisible Veterans,” many of whom are homeless, jobless, unable to access veteran’s benefits, and complete their education. The part of my story that was not included in the news broadcast is that since being on the brink of homelessness, I was able to return to college to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in History and minor Museum Studies, continuing my education by earning my Master’s Degree in History Secondary Education.
My accomplishments represent a triumph over difficulties, largely because of the help I was given along the way. However, there are far too many African American veterans, both male and female, who have selflessly served our country and are now in need of the help promised to them by their country. I am hoping that through using my story, this invisible segment of our nation’s population will become a concern that each citizen in our country is keenly aware of and personally involved.
I am enclosing a copy of my story, which includes details too lengthy for this letter. I anticipate hearing from you and the opportunity to engage in productive dialogue and share my story to your viewers regarding this matter.
I remain sincerely yours,
- My life