Friday, February 22, 2013
Standing in line
So today we met this nice man who I would say is in his 40's-50's. We were standing in line together, with the Husband. We all started talking; seems the man, (I'll call him Larry) was also in the Navy; worked Sonar on submarines. He grew up in East LA and joined to get out of the gangs. Upon getting out, he went to school to be a surgical nurse. Then became a traveling nurse all over the country and England.
Somewhere along the line, he married. Don't know if he has any children. But he became a Buddhist. Unfortunately he started to get ill - some auto-immune disease where at one point, he almost lost his one leg to amputation. He lost his job as a surgical nurse - lost his health, lost his marriage and became homeless. He mentioned to us, how he would sleep in parking garages and how low he had become.
He decided, his Buddhism wasn't doing it for him, so he started to think back to his grandma who used to speak to him about Christianity. So he thought he would give that a try. He hooked up with some veteran groups here, and he gave credit to "the Lord" who he believes is taking care of him by surrounding him with former veterans who could plug him back in to society. He was the first one, who was picked to start living at a new homeless veteran home - a brand new apartment house on nice grounds, privately owned by a non-profit Christian-Veteran group. He also went to a beauty school and is now trained as a Barber. He also told us, he struggles with depression -
Right now, he is trying to get well - has had no luck in finding a job here as a Barber. He struggles also with just how low he has become; a total life change in 3 years. It bothers him, when he goes to the store and he uses his food-stamp card, and the cashier says something derogatory - he said he looked at her, and said,
"Lady, 3 years ago, I could of been standing along side your surgeon, assisting him and others during your surgery. Would you say that to me then?"
Wow! There are interesting people out there and if I had been by myself, I would of missed talking to Larry. The husband took down his information and he took down ours - Seems they do know the same people who work with veterans. We'll no doubt be seeing him again.
photo credit: ATOMIC Hot Links via photopin cc
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