Veteran Passes By Homeless Man On Street, But Notices His Jacket And Brings Him To Tears
FaithTap Staff 3/28/2017
Seeing a homeless person on the side of the street usually results in one of two actions - we choose to spare some change, or move on without doing anything! Which option we choose often depends on our preconceived notions of why the person is in that situation in the first place.
Either way, the incident soon becomes a forgotten speck of time in our busy lives and we move on without an afterthought. For one man in Northern California however, the reality of homelessness has made a more permanent impact.
Kyle Cornwell is a military vet who lives in Cottonwood, California. Recently, Kyle was leaving a restaurant late at night when a man on the street caught his eye. Kyle recalls:
"He was freezing cold and hungry so I gave him my jacket and my food and honestly, he just started crying. I sat down next to him and he started sharing his story with me."
It's not Kyle's choice to help the homeless man by giving him food and the jacket off his back that makes the story interesting, but the fact that he actually stopped to talk and hear the man's story.
Turns out, the homeless man was a war vet himself, now suffering from PTSD.
So while Kyle was humbled to receive the man's gratitude for making him a bit more comfortable, Kyle couldn't quite shake off that conversation from his head. It's then when he decided to dedicate his time and energy to helping the homeless war vets in his area:
"I go to all the Goodwill stores and Salvation Army stores. I've had a lot of friends and family donating clothing and items."
Helping him in his pursuits is his young daughter who often comes along to gather supplies for the homeless vets. Kyle says:
"One of the things that I teach her is paying it forward and giving back to our community. I believe it's teaching her good morals and responsibility."
True to his word, Kyle thinks he has already helped over 50 homeless war veterans in his area, and is hoping to at least double that number in the future. To help him on this bigger scale, he has also decided to set up a GoFundMe account called Norther CA Vets, where people can make big and small contributions that Kyle uses to purchase supplies and food.
According to the story on that fundraising account:
"Many of you probably see a lot of homeless people around town standing with their cardboard signs begging for money or food. What a lot of (you) may not know is there's thousands of vets who are starving, freezing, and homeless. Most of them Korea and Vietnam vets who suffer from PTSD from wars beyond what any of us have ever seen. They need help, they need food and clothes to help them survive."
The reason Kyle has connected with these homeless men is because of their shared experiences as a vet first and foremost, but also because Kyle believes in the basic credo of returning a favor:
"They've suffered through so much and I don't want to see them suffer more then they have to. I'm asking for your help and maybe build some karma this year and even save a life that years and years ago saved ours."
We all have our causes that speak to us and tug at our conscience for further action. In Kyle's case, it was helping one homeless vet, which got him started on a journey to do more. For many of us who let the immensity of a problem give into our inaction, Kyle's story will always be a reminder to start somewhere, no matter how small.
Sources: KRCRTv, GoFundMe FB Image Credit: Twitter/KyleCornwell85, Twitter/KyleCornwell85