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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Homeless Veterans, Rest in Peace 1st Class Jerome Murdough


A-Z Challenge = V=Vets, Vagabond, Vagrant, Vulnerable and Victim

The map above represents cities that have signed onto The Major Challenge to reduce homelessness of Veterans in their communities.  Michele Obama spearheaded this program in June of 2014.  The programs tracks the Vets in order to know how many there are, whether or not they've found housing and or are still homeless.  Reducing the number of Homeless Veterans was a goal of President Obama's since 2009.  The data in 2014 indicated Nationally, there was an average of 49,933 homeless Vets in a single night, those numbers are down 14k from 2013, and 33% lower then there were in 2010.

Homeless Vets can be as anyone from WWII forward, though stats indicating Veterans of Vietnam may be the most at risk.

Jerome Anthony Murdough was a US Marine.  This man died a very sad death at the age of 56 while in custody in New York's Riker's Facility.  What happened to him, sadly  represents a trend around the country.  Homeless are treated as criminals, arrested rather than helped.  The report I read indicated 3 major mistakes took place, causing this man.......this Veteran's death.

  1. He was arrested instead of helped.  He had a mental illness, he was homeless, he was arrested for sleeping in a stairwell, he was arrested for trespassing.  Sadly, it wasn't the first time he had been arrested for similar problems.
  2. Once arrested his bail was set at $2,500.00, a fee that of course he could not pay, (typically prohibitive bail is set).
  3. Due to his mental illness, he was incarcerated in a special observation cell that measured 6 x 10.  These observation cells are suppose to be monitored once every 15 minutes.  His dead body was found 4 hours later.  He was dehydrated, died of a heat stroke in a cell that was 100 degrees.
Marine Murdough's mother wasn't even notified until contacted by a news agency 1 month after death of her son.  She is suing the officials.

Rest in Peace.  His final resting place is Forest Green Park Cemetery in Morganville, New Jersey.

Another Veteran, homeless, trying to stay warm by sleeping over a grate where some heat is possible.

Vagabonds and Vagrants are other words that are used to describe homeless people.  The definition for both is a person without means of support, without a permanent address, who moves about.  Sad definitions for our Veterans, don't you think!  Why are they not properly supported?  The next time you hear someone say all homeless are lazy bums, PLEASE tell them they don't know what they're talking about.

If you missed it previously my E post found HERE,  was also a story about a homeless Veteran.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

21 comments:

  1. Marine Murdough's story is unbelievably tragic. It's good to hear that the program is seeing some results but it looks like a never-ending problem.

    I've been away for a week so I'm trying to catch up with comments.

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    Replies
    1. Understand the catch up, thank you for visiting and right you are on the nature of the problem. Sadly, it does look like a never ending problem.

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  2. Of all the stories of the homeless the stories of the veterans touch me the most. If our young folks were educated as to what is happening with our veterans I can't imagine they would volunteer for service.

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    Replies
    1. That's a very good point Delories. I hadn't thought of that.

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  3. Thank you for your service 1st class Jerome. May you rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the visit and thoughtful comment Bunny.

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  4. Only 4 cities in Delaware. Interesting! ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, would like to see lots more throughout the US.

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  5. Hey Sandy. Just read your comment and wanted to let you know that I'm okay. Just been struggling with work and stuff that's made it a bit hard for me to write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're ok Misha, hope things calm down for you.

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  6. Thank you for featuring his story here, sad the circumstances of his passing. I do think the country needs to do something better to help those who served it not end up homeless. I do hope the Major Challenge is successful in their goals.

    betty

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Betty for the visits and comments. Truly appreciate it. I too have my fingers crossed headway can be made on this important project.

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  7. Thank you Sandy for putting our veterans in the fore front. No veteran should ever be homeless - mental illness is out of control here in our country. Hoping education and awareness through media and the coming together of all of us can help solve this very real problem. @Door2LoreSue
    PowerofStoryABlog - Every Hero Has a Story

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sue for the visit and thoughtful comment. I so agree.

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  8. Thanks for bringing to light the issue. It's really sad when such people are not taken care of and met with scorn.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is indeed very sad Ranveer, thanks so much for your visit and comment.

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    2. Ranveer, I enjoyed your post but am unable to leave you a comment since your blog is google+ ONLY

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  9. Another sad story about the Men who fought for our Freedom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a very sad story. This man deserved better from those he served.

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  10. What a heartbreaking story, that poor man. Stories like this make me SO angry. Homeless people need homes not jail or ER's.
    I was at the VA hospital in Philadelphia last night and there was a veteran on the roof threatening to jump.
    They said it happens all the time. Disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I share your anger Doreen, I've told lots of stories here on Bridge and Beyond in an attempt to help others feel sad or angry, sad or angry enough to do something, to speak up, to help etc. How horrible about the man on the roof. I will see if I can follow up on the story to share here on Bridge and Beyond.

      Delete

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