CHICAGO (CBS) — Who will help the veterans once the parades are over and the uniforms and flags have been packed away?
Rev. Jesse Jackson asked that question on Thursday, as members of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition served veterans a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Angela Baskin served in the Army during Operation Desert Storm and has found help in getting re-acclimated to civilian life from the Remaking The World Veterans Center.
“This helps out a lot,” she said.
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Arnetha Gholston, who runs the RTW Vet Center on South King Drive, says veterans need help and they’re not getting it.
“The situation that they left is not the same when they come home eight years later. And, see, we don’t prepare for that. We don’t prepare for where do they go, what do they do and how do we handle their frustration when they want to blow their head off?”
Rainbow/PUSH hosted dinner for 400 veterans this Thanksgiving.
“We seem to love soldiers very much as they go off to war,” Jackson said, “We seem not to love veterans so much when they return home.”
Jackson is part of a new movement called “Leave No Vet Behind.”
“They play by the rules. They served on foreign battlefields, now they come home; many of them cannot get medical care or a job. We must care for veterans as they come home, not just as soldiers as they go off to war.”
Gholston teared up as she thanked Jackson for serving vets this Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, he’s encouraging veterans to join the “Occupy” movement and press for jobs, education and housing.
Jackson called for a large veterans’ march to protest the way they’re thrust back into society, with no job, no education, less-than-adequate health care, and often times, no home.