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1992

November 12:  Residents of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Westwood voice their concerns regarding the services provided to them by the government. In 1991, the National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that approximately 1/3rd of all homeless single men nationwide are veterans. The California Homeless Coalition further estimates that 20,000 homeless veterans reside in Los Angeles. John Hurd, a Germany, Korea and Vietnam veteran, attempts to organize a support group for veterans called the United Veterans Legionnaire Corps because severe budget cuts in VA funding reduce many of the much needed services, especially for elderly veterans that begin needing hospitalization. Jose Garza, a 71-year-old Army tank commander during World War II, asks “Who else is going to take care of us? We served our country. They should help us.”  The VA has enough staff to accommodate 400 patients; currently there are 1,100 residents in the facility.  After hearing Desert Storm commander H. Norman Schwarzkopf speak, Jon (who refuses to give his last name) seeks psychological help for a problem he hides for over 20 years. Still angry at the “government he [says] plucked him from a Mississippi junior college and plunked him down in the Vietnamese jungle,” the veteran is slowly regaining trust in the government.
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