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Charity Helps Customize Homes For Injured Troops

Today's New York Times discussed a different sort of housing crisis that US troops returning from the battle field severely injured face. Service members with permanent disabilities struggle to live independent and dignified lives with the constraints of typical homes.

I checked out Homes For Our Troops, a group mentioned in the article. The nonprofit provides specially adapted homes for those wounded in combat, free of charge. For a quadriplegic vet, the group built a home that provides maximum independence, with a computer that adjusts lights, temperature, and doors. For one army specialist who lost both his legs in Iraq after a rocket blast, Homes For Our Troops is working to raise money, materials, and labor to build him a home with a kitchen that allows him to cook without burning his arms.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers permanent and disabled veterans up to $60,000 to renovate their homes. Home For Our Troops spends an average of $250,000 on each project. Five hundred vets from Iraq and Afghanistan qualify for the public grant, and so far 95 have been approved for some or all of the money, while 350 have not yet applied. Should the basic quality of life for disabled veterans be left to private charities, or covered by the government?


Join The Conversation
TxRdRaider TxRdRaider 8 years
Not saying that they shouldn't provide anything, but you also have to think that People volunteer for the military. You volunteer to put yourself in a place where you are at risk for injury and so on. My father served in the Army for 20+ years, he is hard of hearing in one ear b/c of actions during service and he gets compensation for this. Hearing aid and so on...but it doesn't cover all costs associated with it.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
How about you dial it back a bit? I'm not letting ANYONE off the hook. But if you think the gov't will MIRACULOUSLY fix itself and become efficient, when it hasn't been EVER! literally NOT EVER then I think you're deluding yourself. We can cry and stomp our feet and vote till we pass out and the fact is when you have that many special interests and politicians out for themselves it's rare that anything with any merit gets done. So should we try to fix it? Yes. But in the meantime, I'm glad there are people who are making a tangible, actual difference in the lives on these people TODAY.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
Governments send people to war. Governments decide when they should come home. And when they do come home - in varying states of physical, mental and emotional disrepair, and after having served their country, that SAME ENTITY - the government - should be responsible for assisting them in reassimilating into their civilian lives! How can ANYONE possibly dispute this, when the situation is created by governments to begin with? This should be a no-brainer - the fact that it is not, is saddening but no longer shocking.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
"It's ridiculous to constantly say the government screws everything up as if it's a creation unto itself - we pay for it, we created it, we work in it, we should force change and improvements. Privatize veterans post-war care, and you'll see a real hellish mess." Exactly. The tone of criticism towards the government in this thread comes off as if it is an entity that we have no control over and that we don't have the ability to ask more of. This is suppose to be a government of the people and by the people, if you aren't happy with it then demand change. Don't let them off the hook by saying they can't do anything right and never will be able to so let's forget about them and put their responsibilities into the hands of others.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
The government sent them there. The government needs to be the one to pick up the pieces when they come back disabled. Responsibility for the consequences of one's actions. Simple as that. It's extremely disgusting that something like this ends up being, as steph put it, farmed out to charities.
stephley stephley 8 years
If we have half the economic meltdown that many are threatening, charities will be overwhelmed - then how do they prioritize? Do you help a disabled child or a disabled veteran first? Which disabilities count for more? It's ridiculous to constantly say the government screws everything up as if it's a creation unto itself - we pay for it, we created it, we work in it, we should force change and improvements. Privatize veterans post-war care, and you'll see a real hellish mess.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
their? there are.... geesh
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I def. think the gov't has a responsibility to provide for our troops, obv they've made a mess of it (like they do with everything)... Maybe I'm just cynical but I doubt the gov't will EVER have its act together, so in the meantime I'm glad their organizations that pick up the slack. They shouldn't have to, but I'm glad they do.
stephley stephley 8 years
Exactly, what Mariner said.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
If they can't take care of the troops, they shouldn't be sending them into harms way. It's not the troops fault the government can't get its act together.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Talk about shirking on their rsponsibility, look at what the government has done to the VA system. It's a mess, and even after promising changes, nothing has changed.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
But the government can't do ANYTHING without wasting half to the appropriate resources on other things. Why would we want them to be in charge of something that Yes they should provide money for, but are woefully inept in the application of the funds?
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I think it is the government's responsibility. They ask our troops to risk life and limb for causes they may or may not believe in. They do it to be of service to their country and their fellow soldiers. Few things make me more upset than the government shirking on that responsibility.
stephley stephley 8 years
Why can't Bush keep his hands to himself?
stephley stephley 8 years
The government should be responsible - you don't send someone to war, bring them home torn up and hand them off to some charity. The needs of disabled veterans often are much greater than the rest of us, and their care should be guaranteed. They shouldn't have to seek out help, they shouldn't have to compete for charitable support. If the government has a horrible record on something, it should be improved, not farmed out.
NYFashionista NYFashionista 8 years
I agree with UnDave on this one - definitely should be a combination of both. And I think that donating to these types of charities is a great way to also support our troops. Often, I feel very helpless and distanced from the reality that is war and the life that our soliders lead once they come home (which can be/often times is difficult). It's a good way to help, even if in a small way.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
The Wounded Warrior Project (my favorite charity!) also does this! We have to keep in mind as well that not everyone who is wounded gets discharged, and handicapped housing is available on all bases, so that could factor in.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I think it should be a combination of both. The government should provide money, but leave the business of upgrading houses or building houses to the experts, or giving out the money to do so. The government has a horrible track record of wasting money instead of using iot to help others.
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