Veterans Tent City NJ 2014

While driving in the City a few months ago I spotted a tent city, which was hidden away among the brush.  It was hard to notice, so it took me a long time to figure out that people actually lived there.  Its located in a place where the speed limit is 40mph, so its not easy to get to.  After driving by at least 1 time a week for a couple months I came up with a plan and decided to put a package together for them.

I filled a huge donation bag with toiletries, food, coffee and supplies, such as plastic cups, coffee creamers, toilet paper etc.  Then I tied another big trash bag around it, leaving some air trapped inside to cushion the blow.  The next evening Brian and I drove to the tents, pulling off onto the shoulder near the fence.  After I stopped the car, brian got out and leaned over the fence to lay the bag down.  He had a little trouble getting the bag over, because it was so huge and heavy; it just rolled like slime.  Plus the brush along the inside of the fence made it an even tougher job, so he had to hassle with the bag for a minute.  After placing it safely on the ground he called out “got some food here for you!” and then we drove away.  As we pulled into traffic I could hear some shuffling in the tent, but I didn’t see anyone.

About 2 weeks later I decided to take more food and supplies to that tent city.  So I placed 14 cans of soup in a box (they have an easy open can, which can be opened without a can opener ^_~) along with several single coffee packs, cream, sugar packets and toilet paper.  I also recycled a baby wipes container and placed homemade brownies inside for a nice treat.  When we pulled up, Brian immediately shouted “got some food here for you!” and before he could place the box down, a caucasian gentleman came out of the tent to collect the goodies.  He looked like a Veteran, clean but very skinny.  When I began to drive away, I realized he was coming out.  Seeing him brought several tears to my eyes, because I was expecting someone who was disheveled, maybe a bit unclean and used to living on the streets.

I gathered that he was a Veteran because his tent was secured very well, with ropes tied to almost every tree around, it was in a very uncommon place, the area around the tent was kept very clean and he was a very clean and skinny older man.  When we drove off I couldn’t help but shed a great number of tears.  I shed tears for several reasons.  My tears were tears of sadness, because I was sad at the thought that we could allow what was once the “best place to live” in the entire world, go to the shits.  My tears were tears of empathy, because I felt like this could be me or anyone I know, on any given day with the state of the world we know live in.  My tears were also tears of pain, I felt pained that Americans who are so dead set against the war, would stop at nothing to hurt our Veterans physically, verbally, financially, publicly and politically.

It was a sad moment for me because my fiance, my cousins, my uncles and many friends of friends have served unselfishly for this country, for us and for our constitutional freedoms; and seeing this gentleman who could have been a Military Veteran made me sad to think that our loved ones might have fought the good fight for nothing; because our constitutional rights are being secretly stripped away from us one by one; by a Congress and a President who could care less about Americans.

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