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In Remembrance this Veterans Day


This brisk cool Veterans Day was filled with proudly displayed American flags, parades and the bright fall colors on the trees. While the day activities wound down, the darkness of the evening encroached our lives so much earlier and we felt  the cool air of winter awaiting us on the sidelines.  On this Veterans Day, we took a moment to thank our servicemen and women for their dedication, loyalty and sacrifice.  We also reflected that not long ago a Veteran named JJ lived in the Jubilee Park community.  Regardless of the uniform he once wore and regardless of having served during a time of peace or war, he became a victim of DISD’s bullying assault when the district threatened the use of eminent domain to seize his home.  JJ’s life quickly crumbled and began an out of control journey, like a series of falling dominoes.  JJ had no choice but to sleep in the streets while his loyal companion, his black Labrador, tagged along searching for food and shelter with him.  Eventually, as the cold harsh days dragged by, JJ lost his life as a result of the district seizing his home.  Each of us in the neighborhood knew JJ,  but when you listen to his final life chapter it turned out to be like a scattered jigsaw puzzle.   The entrance where JJ proudly hung his American flag  is now an offsite parking lot for the new O.M. Roberts Elementary school.  There seems to be an energy at the spot where he once resided, and the remaining residents know it and know that a courageous person once lived there.  It’s hard to imagine how someone can go from having a life and a home one day to being out on the street the next because  DISD’s eminent domain seized their home.  Sadly, in this case it just didn’t have to be this way.  Stories like JJ’s’ can be found all over the affected community.

In honor of JJ, Miss Claudia Lozano, a lifelong resident pledged to do all she could do for those who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom.  Miss Lozano carried on with her yearly tradition by distributing gift bags with a big T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U note to Veterans and homeless Veterans in the area.  The bags were filled to the brim with snacks, bottled water and instant soup.  The thank you note she placed on the bag was spelled out individually in capital letters, each letter in a red, white and blue color pattern.  She said “These little gestures help our heroes and in some cases can add up to a big thing” to veterans who have nothing.  As the handed them the bag, “Their eyes lit up,” she said.   Some homeless citizens talked about their trials and tribulations of living as a homeless person.  They are facing so much more dire circumstances, and the true gift isn’t what is in the bags, it is what is in our hearts.  “For me, sharing a little something with them can be the best gift of all”, she said.

But guess what? This is the moment to say JJ didn’t serve in vain, we can change the future, I urge you to stand strong for the seniors and Veteran survivors of DISD’s bullying tactics DISD has wrecked lives and we need to support this community and prevent this from happening again.  This community still stands in the shadow of DISD’s eminent domain/encroachment plan and we must stand united against DISD otherwise we face more displaced Veterans.

To our veterans, thank you.

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