Skip to main content

Last night, I encouraged a member of our community, a disabled, unemployed veteran who has been struggling to make his way through the VA benefits labyrinth and faced repeatedly with the prospect of homelessness, to write a diary asking Kossacks for help to buy him more time in his apartment so that his benefits and possible employment could kick in. He didn't want to: his previous diaries were pleas for information and survival tactics on how to live homelessly, and the community reached back with substantial cash gifts to his Paypal account to keep him in his home a little longer.  He never had asked for money:  until I urged him to.  The diary, which got only a dozen or so comments, is here:  Veteran in Need  Follow me over the fold to find out what happened next.

BIG UPDATE:  Bev has responded to my messages, and it appears that it was emails he received... and that means it is possible that it may NOT be registered members of DailyKos who sent him the condemnatory messages.  I am changing my diary below.

I was unsurprised to find that a direct plea led to some negative response.  However, considering that Bevomav is facing the finality of being out of his apartment, having to ship his wife off to a friend's tiny home, and possibly losing most or all of his goods if he is unable to afford to store them, and living in his old SUV and abandoning his cats at the end of this month, he has faced this for months now.

What he hasn't had to face was the derision, condemnation, and hatred of members of this community for doing what I urged him to do against his better judgement: to ask for financial help.  The result was nasty messages via email, which came from finding his email address on DKOS, and some supportive outreach by a handful of people who saw the diary before it sunk below the horizon.

He wrote to me this morning to tell me about the negative messages.  This, he told me, is what hurts him the most, and what will undoubtedly cause him to turn away from DailyKos, the progressive community, and the real information and guidance to thread his way through the frayed safety net that has failed a member of our most vulnerable population, the aging, the disabled, the veterans with inadequate benefits.

This is what Republicans do: blame the victim, and call those who are unable to work lazy, or taking undeservedly from their rich hands.  Is that who we are?  It would be dishonorable for me, having pressured Bevomav to write that diary, without coming out and telling those of you who thought it was right and good to kick a man when he's down, that you shouldn't have been sending those condemning messages to him, you should have sent them to me, because I was the cause of that diary being written; because I believed that even if he did not get any money, or any better suggestions, or another extension on his fragile grip on his home, he would have done all he could while he waited for the VA additional benefits and employment opportunities to kick in.

Who kicks a disabled vet when he's down?  Do Kossacks do this?  I sure hope not!!!  I hope that the emails did not come from registered users here... and I have updated my diary with the specifics about what he got for messages.  Since they are emailed and not in the DKos system, I will ask Bev to post one of the hate mails he received.

A final note:  to those dozens and dozens of folks who reached out and contributed time, phone calls, visits, and yes, cash - to help Bevomav stay in his home through the winter, you have my thanks on top of his.  I would like to believe that those who felt it necessary to kick him when he is facing this last countdown to eviction, are all just heartless right-wing trolls... but I'm afraid not all of them are.

Updated by louisev at Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:40 AM PDT

UPDATE:  Wow okay, so this diary really IS on the rec list, I thought I was imagining it!  Thanks for all who commented in support of helping the homeless and unemployed!!!

UPDATE 2:  I have asked Bevomav to post one of the emails to the comments section.  Yes, one of the emails was from a registered user of the community, and another accused him of running a scam.  It is sad, but I suppose in a way it is understandable, or would be if it weren't for the fact that he provided his personal info, and has had at least two members of the community in direct contact with him to help him with the Veteran's Administration benefits issues.  So I don't have a lot of patience with the "It's a scam!" accusation, personally.

UPDATE 3:  Here's one of the emails Bevomav received:

From:

This sender is DomainKeys verified

"James Johnson" Add sender to Contacts

To:

"tlewis186@yahoo.com"

I have followed you miserable story for nearly a year. It is time for you to move on and give this community a rest. We are tired of you constant diaries begging for money. You should get a job and work, instead of asking people who DO WORK to bail you and you fucking cats out.

GET A CLUE, NO ONE CARES IF YOU MAKE IT OR NOT!


EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site