War Within: Daughter of Homeless Vet Responds to Video

by guestinyourheart

I passed through the seven stages of grief watching a middle-aged homeless man transformed by a haircut in the following video.


I’m crying at first and am surprised to feel moved. With just his hair wet and off of his face he begins to come to life and I can see him as a person who could sit at my dinner table. Will cut bangs reveal my father’s eyes?

My tears are replaced by annoyance as the hairdresser places dye on his hair. Why on earth would she do that? What about his roots? Will he be tracked down under a bridge or in a bar every six weeks for touch ups?  Why not get a dentist to help those black gums and rotting teeth?

Is this guy being taken advantage of for a feel-good clip? Do homeless people really benefit? I think I notice him smile as his hair is cleared from around his eyes. Does it feel good to be touched and nurtured? He doesn’t seem to mind.

He starts to seem, well, not bad looking. I mean better looking than a lot of the men on Match. Should I start hair styling for homeless men and find a future mate?

Rage comes in and the nasty part of me wants to face bomb the video. I imagine talking to everyone who watches it saying, “He’s probably a drunk who stole from his kid’s piggy bank and beat their mother. Why don’t you get a video of her working while he is sleeping on the streets? And what about the kids he abandoned?”

I’m the daughter of a homeless veteran. But, as the feminists say, the personal is political. Men like this Jim, on every day but Veteran’s Day, seem to be considered litter on our streets.

How come people aren’t posting, “Thank a veteran for your freedom” when veterans are asking for better VA services? Since they fought for our freedom aren’t we responsible for their problems when combat causes or exacerbates mental illnesses and addictions? Do we want the uglier sides of serving to remain hidden, like decaying teeth, behind closed mouths and doors?

No matter what our views on war can’t we agree that veterans deserve at least basic rations?

Is it society we need to make over to highlight our own hypocrisy?

Maybe this guy’s transformation started from the outside and went all the way in. The notes say he’s getting sober. Good for him. The organization using the clip to raise funds is causing people to look at this man and this issue. They have raised close to $30,000.

It’s less than a week later. Are you still thinking about homeless veterans?

I’m not trying to change your politics. I’ve got enough emotions at war within. These are just the thoughts of a now grown daughter thinking of her homeless, alcoholic, veteran father.