Know a homeless veteran who needs a job? Call Bill O'Reilly.
Last night, quite by accident, I found myself listening to Bill O'Reilly's "The Radio Factor." This is not a habit of mine, I left work late and don't usually catch talk shows after 6pm. Anyway, I became quite engrossed as I heard Bill O'Reilly make a rather generous offer to homeless veterans. And I'd like everyone to help spread the word.
As some of you may be aware, O'Reilly is currently involved in a feud with Presidential hopeful (very hopeful to be honest) John Edwards, over the plight of homeless veterans in America. I'm not about to get into the grizzly details of the whole fight, I have neither the time nor the research to back either side. But the basic argument is this. Edwards claims that the 200,000 homeless veterans sleeping on America's streets every night are there because of our ever-declining economy.
Bill O'Reilly calls BS. He says that most of the 200,000 homeless vets (if indeed there are 200,000...that figure is also disputed by O'Reilly) are there not because of the economy but due to drug and/or alcohol problems, mental illness and possibly a desire to stay on the streets and avoid the 9-5 daily routine. I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the picture.
Who's right? That's not actually the point of the article, although the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has a website with some very alarming figures. No, this article is about an offer that O'Reilly made on the air last night, 1/23/08, that I think needs to get out to the people it was intended for.
In a moment of supreme selflessness, Mr. O'Reilly offered to get a job for any homeless veteran who wants one. Now, that's quite an offer, especially in this current economic climate. But I got to thinking..."hmm, how on Earth are any homeless veterans going to hear about the offer?" After all, it's not like they make up any real portion of Bill's regular audience. Would they even have a radio?
I wasn't the only one who thought that way. Someone called in with that question but Bill, sticking by his offer, said that the homeless vets could get this information through the various organizations set up to help them out.
Wisebread.com is obviously not one of those organizations, but I have a platform to get information out to people and I think this is an extremely important piece of news that homeless vets need to hear. So, I've done something about it. Print out as many copies as you want of the flyer above and do what you can with it. Post it in store windows, on bulletin boards, lamp posts, and give it to any homeless veteran you see collecting change. The numbers on it are toll-free, so they won't need to use any of their money (if they have any) to make the call.
Am I doing this to spite Mr. O'Reilly? Absolutely not. I'm doing it because he made the offer and I think it's an offer worth promoting and supporting. It could give hope and a new life to many of these fallen heroes. Let's help O'Reilly stick by his word and give a whole bunch of worthy people a genuine break.