Homeless veteran still has hope - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Homeless veteran still has hope

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

It doesn't look like much, but a small old camper is what Vietnam veteran Allen Bittle calls home.

Holding his own piece of red, white and blue - Bittle is proud to have served his country, despite what he says it took from him.

"We are blessed with a day here ... That's not the storms and tribulations," said Bittle.

Bittle signed up at the age of 20 and served three years overseas. He recalled the backlash of returning home from war.

"Being deprived of rights that we deserved as veterans serving our country ... that hurt. That hurt so much. It's hard to place into words," said Bittle.

The last 40 years have not been easy for the Connecticut native. Now disabled, he admits he hasn't been able to hold down a job and has wandered all over the country. Bittle has called Lake Charles home for the last 10 years.

"I enjoy the hospitality and the different way of life. The warmer weather is also nice for my injuries," said Bittle.

While he and other vets share a similar day-to-day struggle, Bittle knows it can always be worse.

"The military and justice and that sort of ruined my life but with the medical complication, I learn as an experience not to be out always asking for a handout or always begging - let the offerings come forth and let fate come to you," said Bittle.

While Bittle looks to overcome some immediate medical needs, he said his long-term goal is to get back home to Connecticut.

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