COMMUNITY VOICES | Remembering my brother on Veterans Day


This Veterans Day I wanted to write a letter about my brother Micheal. Mike is 1 of 4 deceased veterans in our family. He was homeless at 16 and throughout his life. At 55, Mike with the help of friends found an apartment where he lived until his death at 57.

Mike joined the Navy at 18 for a brief time. He never stayed any place long. He traveled around the country. California, New Mexico, Baltimore, Arizona, Minnesota and many other places. We stopped asking him to get a place and settle down. When he became frustrated, Mike would up and leave. It was 3 years since we last heard from our brother.

My sister was online and found out Mike died in a motel room in Susanville, California. He died December 29th 2010. He died on his birthday. His marker says Gone but not forgotten. We could not keep him from roaming and traveling,

My brother Mike was Mentally Ill. He received financial assistance and Medical care from the VA Administration. The governement of course had all his contact information. If only we could have known a little of what the government knew. We could have stayed connected and kept in touch.

On this Veterans Day I am asking the government if they can begin seeking new ways to help families stay connected to loved one’s who are homeless, mentally ill, veterans .It may have changed things for Mike and us. Please help families stay connected.