Florida homeless veterans still struggle to vote in our elections

It’s primary election day in Florida. If you’re familiar with my background, you know its a day that is impossible to scrub from my identity.

But today, the picture is much smaller for me. I think of how veterans are struggling in my home state of Florida, a leader in homelessness and suicides among us, and sadly, there are a lot of vets that won’t be casting their ballots today.

They’re too busy simply trying to survive.

They may be homeless and simply focused on their next meal. They may be the head of a struggling household and trying to figure out how they’re going to pay for that 50% rent increase from the Florida real estate industry.

But they won’t be voting. And it’s possible they don’t even know who’s running. Because they were abandoned and because they can’t vote, the elected officials that are supposed to be fighting for them won’t even go looking for them.

Imagine if we had taken care of them the way we should have.

It was this lack of care that got me into government to begin with. Failures providing benefits to veterans in the areas of healthcare, education, employment, and yes, housing.

We’ve forgotten about them, even though they served us.

The answer is to continue to work on the challenges. To move beyond the photo opportunities provided by parades and ceremonies and to help them after the holidays have ended.

But without voting power, we stand at the mercy of time and better funded lobbyists.

We’ll still wait. We won’t give up.

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