When Mayor Newton asked me a couple of months ago what I thought about the City working with the County and Veteran’s Affairs to locate a facility and housing for veterans on the RedGate property I was thrilled. As the wife of a combat veteran, mother of a son determined to serve, and granddaughter of two World War II veterans, the deep need for better care for our service members hits home.
In Western tradition, a red gate or door symbolizes sanctity, the entrance to a safe place or the offer of hospitality. The symbolism of the RedGate property, as well as its location and size, make it an ideal setting for a partnership with the VA with the possibility of green space the entire City could enjoy.
Our family is lucky–David, my husband, is happy and whole, and both of my grandfathers made it home and lived long, productive lives. Each year, fewer of our veterans share our story, with an alarming increase in veteran suicides, a lack of secure housing, and income instability. With over 40,000 veterans in Montgomery County, RedGate has the opportunity to offer sanctuary and healing to a vulnerable population–the men and women who have served our country during wartime. Rockville has the opportunity to work with the County and the Federal Government to lead on the issue of supporting our veterans, and we need the right people at City Hall to make it happen.
What do you think? How do you envision RedGate?
Matthew and David up early to run the Army 10-miler; David and Dave–40 years separating the same stories; David and I at a Veterans Day lunch with our friend, Harry, who lied about his age and fought at the Battle of the Bulge at 15 years old. Harry lives at the Soldier’s Home at Lincoln’s Cottage in D.C.; my grandpas–one served in Europe and the other in the Pacific during WWII.
Anderson, Bendix. “U.S. Veterans Face Housing Difficulties on Top of Other Challenges.” Multifamilyexecutive.com, Nov. 2017, www.multifamilyexecutive.com/design-development/us-veterans-face-housing-difficulties-on-top-of-other-challenges_o.
Holder, Sarah, and CityLab. “Veterans Are More Likely to Be Homeowners-But There’s an Exception.” CityLab, The Atlantic, 12 Nov. 2018, www.citylab.com/equity/2018/11/veterans-housing-unaffordable-young-opioid-homeowner/575635/.
Montgomery County Maryland Commission on Veterans Affairs, 2018, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/Resources/Files/A%26D%20Docs/CVA/CVA2018AnnualReport.pdf.
Authorized by the Committee to Elect Suzan Pitman, Brett Layton, Treasurer.