Combat ought to be the most difficult experience our nation's veterans ever endure, and yet many go on to become homeless for eight or nine times the length of their deployments. That is the key finding of a new report by the 100,000 Homes Campaign detailing the widespread health crisis facing America's 76,000 homeless veterans.
Martin Marquardt's story gives that crisis a face. After returning home from Vietnam, Martin struggled to readapt to civilian life, eventually becoming homeless in Phoenix. During nearly thirty years on the streets, he grew increasingly ill before finally finding a home through Project H3 in Phoenix. Tragically, Martin's brother, also a veteran, was not so fortunate. After more than 25 years of homelessness, he passed away in Martin's arms on a park bench in the harsh Arizona summer.