So, while I had a temporary stay in Dallas Texas, I figured that I could hit the streets. So, I did just that and was surprised that in my travels it didn’t take too long to locate yet another veteran. Justin served from 2003-2011 with deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. He told me that he served with 1st Cav at Ft Hood Texas, and Ft Stewart in GA. How our conversation started was I asked him did he not turn all of his CIF gear in and he laughed. (CIF=gear turn in when you get out the military).
His response was upsetting to me because as you can see from the photograph, he is using his Army standard issued tent with a multi-cam and acu pattern rain cover for weather protection. Justin told me that he kept it taking the fees charged from CIF because he knew once he got out that he didn’t have anyone or any place to go. He said I’m like a nomad I move from place to place. He didn’t want me taking pictures of him, but he did permit me to shoot his current location.
I asked when the last time was, he had a meal and he told me my dinner was in the box. Justin told me that he wasn’t without a job as he works odd and end construction jobs cleaning up after sites, but he didn’t have a home so until he could save enough money this was his home. He said I’m not homeless homeless but I’m better off than most. He said it still sucks, but he said he sure missed the things that the Army provided. Justin said hell it could be worse, but Texas is home and he will keep at it.