Editor, The Commercial:
A Veterans Home should be a place of serenity, safety, love, respect and honor. A special place that veterans can call home. With that said, I hope that the Veterans Administration does not seriously take Pine Bluff’s bid into consideration for a new veterans home.
This area here in Jefferson County appears to me to be anti-veteran friendly. Back on Veterans Day 2009, we participated in a Veterans Day Parade and only three people showed up to watch the parade. There are over 7,000 veterans located in Jefferson County, some of whom have disabilities.
However, our city does not have the proper infrastructure that most veterans with disabilities need. We still have ditches in this city. Where are the sidewalks? Are veterans supposed to walk in ditches to get around? Not all veterans walk. However, a group of us veterans used to meet down on Main Street to do a morning walk. We would walk from the swinging girl to the court house at 4 a.m. daily. This became a task because some of the buildings on Main Street are in such bad conditions that chunks of buildings were actually falling as we walked by. So most of the time we walked in the street because the buildings along our walking route appeared to be unsafe.
And to make matters worse, the crime in this city is troubling. Some veterans have spent time in combat and war torn countries. It is unimaginable that one would want to live in a city with such high crime statistics. This would be like living in a war zone all over again.
Pine Bluff has a long way to go, and in my opinion, is not a suitable veterans home. It lacks patriotism, safety and infrastructure.