For reasons which aren’t entirely clear, veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are becoming homeless more quickly than vets of the Vietnam generation. They already make up an estimated three to four percent of homeless vets.

Today, on Veteran’s Day, we take a look at the challenges facing these vets and those who try to care for them.

Advocates hope to avoid the mistakes of the post-Vietnam era by providing support and understanding to soldiers when they return to civilian life. But the trauma of war, as always, is impossible to leave behind on the battlefield.

In other news:

  • A new non-profit group is hoping to step into an arena where some venture capitalists and angel investors fear to tread: the funding of tech start-ups. The idea is to create a financial incubator that will provide a nurturing environment where new companies with bright ideas can bloom.
  • We’ve got lots of education news: San Diego school board trustees won’t take district-funded catered food. The district had gotten some flak for making big cuts but still allowing outside food for board and superintendent events.

    Also: We report that “while the (San Diego) school district is scraping for pennies, some of the charter schools it oversees are still holding on to healthy reserves.” And parents and students from Mission Bay High are angry about plans to delay repairs to the school’s athletic fields, which they say are unsafe.

  • We follow-up on our story about crisis negotiation with a brief look at how cops deal with people who threaten to jump from bridges. They’ve learned a potentially life-saving lesson through experience from the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge: never get too close to a potential jumper.

    Last year, we chronicled the ever-expanding death toll from suicides on the bridge, examined possible solutions and told a personal story of a suicidal jumper.

  • Photographer Sam Hodgson‘s Photo of the Day is a remarkable one: it’s a shot of the deeply wrinkled face of a homeless Vietnam veteran at sunset.

    Hodgson came across him while looking for photo subjects who would tie in with Veteran’s Day. “If you want to look for a homeless veteran,” Hodgson said, “you don’t need go any farther than the waterfront, where you’ll find them sitting by the bay.”

    The wrinkles and the shading in the photo remind me of this Rembrandt painting at Balboa Park’s Timken Museum.


  • The NCT reports that the “Metropolitan Water District voted Tuesday to spend about $350 million in subsidies for a desalination plant to be built in Carlsbad.
  • CityBeat wonders if sheriff candidate Jay LaSuer will take after his ally, famous Arizona sheriff Joe “Tent City” Arpaio. The paper also suspects the local grand jury is investigating the local crackdown on medical marijuana shops. This story also provides another example of how far people will go for a catchy acronym (in this case, SEPTIC).
  • Here’s some good news: a scientist thinks the San Jacinto earthquake fault, which runs through northeastern San Diego County, isn’t as likely to cause a big earthquake as people had thought. It had been ranked up there with the San Andreas fault on the holy-cow-look-out front.

    Why? Because it’s been engaging in what the scientist calls “deep creep” — blowing off pressure through minor quakes instead of holding it in for one giant kablooey.

    Hey, San Andreas fault. Yeah, you. Hint!


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