About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Freedom Isn't Free

As I remember those who gave their lives for freedom today it occurs to me that some gave their lives in ways we may not think of.

Many came home but their lives were never the same again. Some are in Veteran's Hospitals today recovering from the loss of limbs or from traumatic brain damage. Some came home safe but not sound. I want to remember those men and women who gave their lives. I want to remember the thousands of family members who celebrate this day without their son, husband, brother, daughter, sister, wife, friend.

And I want to remember those who sleep on our streets and inhabit homeless camps in our city.

And I hope I do more than just "remember" their sacrifice. I hope I will be ready to serve them in whatever way possible. One way I can do that is to attend the Serve City Volunteer Meeting at our church next Sunday and see what opportunities there are for me to get involved.

And I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say that the next time we have a homeless veteran visit our church who makes us uncomfortable I hope we will take a moment to realize who he is. Can we spare some of our comfort in an area where we know we are safe to reach out to someone who may have lost his way while he was serving us?

Veteran Specific Highlights:

  • 23% of homeless population are veterans

  • 33% of male homeless population are veterans

  • 47% Vietnam Era

  • 17% post Vietnam

  • 15% pre Vietnam

  • 67% served three or more years

  • 33% stationed in war zone

  • 25% have used VA Homeless Services

  • 85% completed high school/GED compared to 56% of non-veterans

  • 89% received Honorable Discharge

  • 79% reside in central cities

  • 16% reside in suburban areas

  • 5% reside in rural areas

  • 76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems

  • 46% white males compared to 34% non-veterans

  • 46% age 45 or older compared to 20% non-veterans

* statistics provided by the National Coalition on Homelessness


Kansas Bob said...

Great thoughts Amber! I wish that the military had your perspective. Unfortunately many combat veterans are not treated very well by their military leaders when they return from war.

Your thoughts and stats about homeless vets are pretty revealing. Here's hoping that the stats are better in a few years.. we should do better by out post 9/11 vets than the Vietnam vets.

Amber said...

I agree. It makes me angry to hear about how our vets are treated after they come home.