SAN ANTONIO – Living in Military City USA, we know about the sacrifice many veterans make, putting their lives on the line to defend our country.
Yet some still become homeless. The reasons range from PTSD to not feeling like a part of normal society after serving.
Bryan McCrory joined the US Army back in 1980. He worked as a radio direction finder locating enemy signals.
“And of course, at that particular time, I was in the middle of the Cold War, so most of our targets were Russian or Russian allies,” McCrory said.
A robust military career took him around the world, spending time in Italy, other parts of Europe, and Africa. In addition to his accomplishments, McCrory got married, but later divorced. He remarried again but that also ended, this time with his wife passing away.
“Which is kind of what led to me being here, because I lost her and lost everything,” McCrory said.
Severe financial troubles led McCrory to the Homeless Veterans Program on Yucca Street near Robeson Avenue. Funded by the VA through Crosspoint, McCrory occupies one of 35 beds reserved for veterans who are now homeless due to a wide range of issues.
“For want of a paycheck, or they’re underemployed and they couldn’t afford to live. Some folks have addictions or mental health issues,” said Crosspoint CEO Dr. Kevin Downey.
All problems, Downey says, are uniquely addressed through rehabilitation, housing, counseling and job placement efforts.
As for McCrory, he estimates it will take about six more months to get back on his feet, yet his goals for when he leaves are clear. “I hope to be able to pay it forward for lack of a better term,” McCrory said.
In order to qualify for the program, the veteran has to have been honorably discharged. the average stay is 140 days but could be shorter or longer depending on the veteran’s needs.