OK, you asked for it... I'll give you the story... Grab a chair and a bag of cheetos, this will take a while. So, I was homeless for 4 1/2 years in my early 20's. It stemmed from problems associated with getting kicked out of the Army with a general discharge and RE code of 3. Oh, about 4-5 years later a war breaks out and whose looking for bodies??? The national guard of course. I was living in Nashville, Tn chasing my dream of being a rock star. So, I made the decision to take a couple years off, in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, a tour would improve my quality of life. So, I joined and volunteered for a trip to Iraq. While there I was blown to hell by an IED. I ended up with TBI and I'm disabled from the waist up on the right side and waist down on the left side. I actually only signed a contract for a year, so when we got home I was released with an honorable discharge. I'm one of the few that got a second chance at an honorable discharge. Not only that I have a couple free license plates to choose from. I ended up meeting and falling in love with my only soulmate. I took a job as a car salesman as we raised our baby boy and anticipated his sister on the way. This was my first introduction to the VA. I went and filed a claim. However, time was of the essence. My daughter was coming and my job didn't offer insurance. I couldn't wait on the VA, I had to do something or I would end up welcoming my daughter without insurance. So, this time I joined the Texas guard and volunteered for another tour. My body was badly beaten but I had one more tour me. Ironically I was in country when my decision from the VA came down. I was rated at 40%. Technically, I shouldn't even been there. My first tour consisted of over 350 combat missions, there are 365 days in a year. You do the math. This time I deployed as the Chaplain Assistant. I wasn't on the line anymore, that's what I was concerned with. As soon as I stepped foot in that country for the second time, I'll never forget the sound of a .50 cal rocking, and I knew it wasn't for training. I eventually would crack psychologically. I had my wife sending me alcohol and I was eventually fired and sent to the motor pool. I don't blame them, I looked like crap, rarely shaved, and rolled up my sleeves. I didn't even care when people pointed out my appearance. I liked working in the motor pool. Then I got busted drunk. Ironically a few days later I was hit by a mortor and was blown across the bay and hit my head on a hummv. I was read my article 15 that morning and then I was medivacted to Germany. Out of site, out of mind, the paper work on my article was never processed. I was treated very well by the wtu. I rehabilitated for almost a year and a half. They found out in Germany that I didn't have just TBI, I had two of them. In addition to PTSD and a slew of physical problems. When I got out the third time I recieved a medical retirement. I had been discharged with all three discharges. It took less than 6 months for the VA to award me 100%. Not only that, I also receive tricare, so I rarely use the VA. I tried to work at first. I went back to jobs I did as a civilian. Various sales jobs etc... However, after tossing a computer across an office, hitting a manager in the face with a keyboard and then throwing my back out on my third day in construction, needless to say working wasn't in the cards. So, I started going to school. One day I had a disagreement with this dude about the war and I ended up hitting him repeatedly in the face. He tried to run, but I grabbed his shirt and hit him in the back of the head until blood started coming out. I ended up with an assault charge with bodily injury. Fast forward 10 years of treating my wife like crap until I chased her off. I eventually graduated from college, using my GI Bill. I was quickly hired at five companies but was devastated to discover that because I split a dude's head open ten years ago, I couldn't pass a background chek. What I did was wrong and I accept that. I violently and physically took away someone's freedom of speach because I disagreed with him. But censered it... I paid my fines, did my probation, did the hours, donated the food... I did everything to pay my debt to society, yet bodily injury stays on your record 99 years. Because of the type of crime I can't get it expunged. Throw in a couple parifenalias and a couple possessions and being in a national data base for assaulting police officers, no one will touch me. All that time in school was waist of time and tax payers dollars. Then my wife finally had enough. She threw me out on my ear. I was a son of a bum and deserved it. However, I ran into the same problem with getting a place to live. My credit isn't good enough for a VA loan, and no one will rent to me. I lived with my brother for a year and a half. That ended with me beating the crap out of him too. I'm just angry, pissed off, violent and it doesn't help that I grew up fighting, am unaturally strong and was trained to kill. You know the school where the assault took place is no longer there. There is a whole new building there the school is out of business abd I wouldn't recognize him if he moved in next door. I don't even remember his name and hes probly forgotten all about me as well. However, none of that matters. What matters is I live in a tent, under a bridge, and its because no one will rent to me. I get my VA check and a SSI check that comes to almost $4,000 a month. Yet, I bathe at fast food places and hang out at 7-11. I am homeless not because I'm poor, its because of a god damn mistake I made in 2009. When I lived with my wife and everything could be in her name, it was kool. She had every right to toss me. I was angry, violent, too hard on my son, I resented that she had to be my brain because mine doesn't work right, I wore ridiculous outfits, I did eventually quit cheating but the damage was done, above all I hurt her every way a man can hurt a woman. And I did it while she just loved me. Everyday I wake up and hope its the day she'll let me come home. Its been 2 years and I'm still waiting. And I'll continue to wait. I'll wait a thousand years. She may never let me cone home and that's what I deserve. However, I know hope is beyond hope. Regardless, I will continue to wait and maybe one day will be the day she let's me come home.
There is likely no other veteran service organization making such an impact on the lives of Dallas and Dallas area veterans. This organization was founded by Marine veteran and 2007 Marine Corps League Marine of the Year Ken Watterson with no funds. He organized transportation to get veterans to the VA Hospital, open and operates a day center for homeless veterans where they can receive education, job training and to have a place to take a shower and have a hot meal. All of this being done without Ken taking a dime of salary and run on the tighest of budgets.
Since 2012, they have served over 26,000 veterans and have become a hub for Veteran Support services in the area.
Review from Guidestar
The people who run this organization are the real deal. Mr Watterson and Mr Young devote much of their time (non paid positions) to help insure Veterans are taken care of. The Veterans Resource Center is managed by the Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas, Inc. HVSD is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless or at-risk veterans and their families. The Veterans Resource Center has a computer lab, college advisors (wed), homeless veteran housing services, clothing, veteran service officers to help with claims or other issues, workout room, legal help, and other resources. More information may be found at http://www.veteransresourcecenter.net