Story by Caleb Anglin
Editor's Note: This story was originally published in December 2022.
It’s the holiday season and that means it’s the season of giving back. On Dec. 3, the Muncie Southside Neighborhood Association held their veteran’s coffee club, which happens on the first Saturday of each month. This is an amazing idea and with everything veterans must deal with, it only makes sense that this should happen. Honestly, veterans get the short end of the stick when you think about it. I have witnessed hundreds of homeless veterans, whether that be in Muncie, my hometown of Richmond, Indiana or out on the West Coast in Los Angeles, California.
In Indiana alone, there are approximately 380,690 veterans. According to the HAC database, 3.8% of that number are unemployed and 530 are homeless. That is 530 veterans too many. To live in America is to have many freedoms, but it almost seems like we forgot how we got these freedoms. Thousands of men and women around the country put their lives on the line so we can be the best country in the world. All for what, though? What do some men and women get in return? For the homeless, most of the time, it’s nothing.
With that being said, this is an amazing feat and civil act of the Muncie Southside Neighborhood Association. To paint the picture for you, veterans of any kind are able to go down to 2517 West 8th street and enjoy their selection of coffee, donuts, biscuits and gravy, take home food, and more. All these are donated by the Muncie community. For example, Coffee was provided by Black Rifle Coffee Co., donuts were donated by Ron Crouch of Resolve Tech, and biscuits and gravy were from the Yorktown American Legion.
It puts a smile on my face to see that there are people that care and people that choose to help these veterans and show support, regardless of their own economic status. This for every kind of veteran imaginable and it is a phenomenal thing to see happen in the community, especially Muncie.
My Grandfather was a U.S Marine and I unfortunately lost him back in 2019, but he has always stuck with me in spirit, and he was one of the most important people in my life. The way I got so emotionally connected to the Marine Corps is because when I was younger, he would always take me into the Marine Corps League in our hometown of Richmond, Indiana. When he passed, I had the great privilege of receiving his Marine Corps ring and I wear it on celebratory days that I wish he was here to witness with me.
Muncie making this a monthly occurrence makes me happier than ever before. I have seen veterans struggle and I have seen veterans be successful. The fact of the matter is all veterans need to feel the love that they deserve. Sacrifice is something not a lot of people would be willing to associate themselves with, but the few that do, deserve everything and more.