I served in Iraq in 2003, as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist, and I personally understand the challenges that veterans face. While there is no greater service than to serve your country, we often fail to adequately serve our veterans upon their return home.
One-third of the adult homeless population is made up of veterans -- 47% served during Vietnam-era and 90% received honorable discharges. One of our every five Iraq/Afghanistan veterans suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). And, the unemployment rate for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans is nearly 15%.
How can it be for men and women who gave so much, we offer so little in return? Our veterans deserve respect and dignity from the country they have served. I have and will continue to demand and ensure that our veterans receive the benefits and support they earned. Since being elected to Pueblo City Council, I have worked hard on the new Veteran's Housing Complex located at 4th and Hudson. This $2.5 million dollar renovation of 16 one-bedroom units will provide affordable rental housing for our homeless veterans.