The Marine Corps has a philosophy, “Every Marine is a rifleman.” Simply put, the Corps places tremendous value on precision marksmanship and it trains very hard to make all Marines outstanding shooters. Consequently, when someone like James McDonald is selected to be a small arms instructor, you can rest assured that he understands and exemplifies hard work, discipline and personal responsibility. Unfortunately, however, when the Sergeant left the regiment of the Corps, his life began to spiral out of control. Through a confluence of unanticipated events, he eventually found himself unemployed and homeless.
Wondering how things could have turned so badly, the former marksmanship instructor learned about the VA’s HUD-VASH program while staying in a homeless shelter. Within a short period of time, he was living in his own apartment, receiving the medical treatment he needed from the Lebanon VAMC and the proper case management from a VA social worker which helped him put his world back into order. When asked, the proud Marine states, “Thanks to the VA I have my own place and job. I am paying my bills on time. No Vet should be homeless. I couldn’t have done it with you. Thanks VA.” In other words, VA is right on target. If you are a homeless Veteran or know a homeless Veteran or a Veteran who may become homeless, please contact Lebanon’s Homeless Hotline at 717-272-6621 x 5186 or 1-800-409-8771 x 5186.