John (#293) 05-07-13

John was sitting alone on a park bench, looking rather forlorn. When I approached him and asked for a photograph, he shrugged and said OK. I knelt down in front of him, and he began to talk. A lot. He needed to talk, and I came along at the right time.

John had served with the Marines, in Viet Nam. He was assigned to a helicopter unit with Pvt Mike Clausen, who later got the Metal of Honor. John said that Mike survived Viet nam, but was later in a severe car accident stateside. Thirty years later, he died of complications of the accident, in 2004.

John is now homeless. After a rehearsed spiel, he asked for a small financial "favor", so that he could afford lunch. I am always prepared for such things and gave him a few dollars.

I was a bit skeptical about the story, so I Googled Mike Clausen. Indeed, Raymond Michael Clausen received the Metal of Honor. Almost everything that John said is correct. See it HERE.

It makes one think about a person's life history, and how a veteran becomes homeless.