Justin has some shocking news – Fort Bragg wont let us feed homeless vets at the atheist festival
I fought very hard for this to happen at the festival this weekend. We went back and forth for several months. The ‘pro-starvation’ camp has prevailed.
The idea was simple.
Our festival is already paid for, via a generous donation from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation (directly deposited into our accounts at American Atheists). So here we are with a free festival on our hands. We would have put the word out to bring canned food (and similar items). Next, we would drop off the food where it needs to go.
It’s a win-win. Obviously we get a measure of publicity that is undeniably ‘good’, seemingly attack/spin proof. But that’s obviously not the real motivation. We really care about the homeless population, especially the one around this military town.
- Less than 1% of Americans are currently in the military (reserve and active).
- 7% of Americans have served at some time in their life. (2010 Census data: 24 million)
23% of the homeless population are veterans 33% of the male homeless population are veterans 47% served Vietnam-era 17% served post-Vietnam 15% served pre-Vietnam 67% served three or more years 33% were stationed in war zone 25% have used VA homeless services 85% completed high school/GED, compared to 56% of non-veterans 89% received an honorable discharge 79% reside in central cities 16% reside in suburban areas 5% reside in rural areas 76% experience alcohol, drug or mental health problems 46% are white males, compared to 34% of non-veterans 46% are age 45 or older, compared to 20% non-veterans [source]
America has left a population of heroes behind. It’s a goddamn shame. And we want to raise visibility and perhaps even make a noticeable dent in our area.
We are accepting donations at the after party!
The free party is at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux (call 910 323 0111 for room reservations) from 9PM – Midnight. It’s the official American Atheists after party, featuring music from Shelley Segal and appearances from the majority of our lineup. You can take pictures with them and give them hugs!
The donations are being handled by Military Atheists & Secular Humanists of Fort Bragg (MASH Fort Bragg). Bring some canned food, or other non-perishable items. Or simply drop some cash to the MASH Fort Bragg peeps at the hotel, and we’ll spend 100% of cash collected that night on bulk food purchases to supplement what you guys bring.
But Fort Bragg says it’s fundraising, and illegal. Go read Justin’s whole post.