On Jan. 6, I was eating at Del Taco. While I was eating, a man who looked liked he may be in his 60s walked in. It was a cold and rainy morning.
I noticed that the man was wearing a military baseball cap - "Vietnam Veteran." He walked to the counter and asked for a cup for water. He was given the cup, and he sat quietly at a table drinking his water and talking on his cell phone.
I kept watching him out of the corner of my eye. I got up to refill my coffee. As I turned to walk back to my table, I saw this man open his wallet and pull out a $1 bill and some change.
I walked over to him and asked him if I could buy him something to eat. He politely said, "Yes. I do not have money." I thanked him for his service. We walked up to the counter and I ordered him a meal to eat and a couple burritos to eat later.
As we were standing there, he thanked me. He said, "Some people wear these caps but never served." I told him that I believed that he served. I then walked back to my table.
As this man waited for his food, he decided to walk over to me. For some reason, I became a little nervous. Once he reached my table, he pulled out his wallet and showed me his ID/military identification.
I smiled and said, "You do not have to prove anything to me. Please have a warm cup of coffee and a meal on me. Again, thank you for your service." He smiled at me, put his wallet back in his pocket, and walked back to the counter. Soon after, I left. I thought about this veteran all day.
Here's what I don't understand: Why are so many veterans on the streets/homeless? I know there are a lot of Americans, like me, who wonder why the men and women who serve our country end up in this situation.