Army life comes full of mottos referencing bravery, unity, strength and sacrifice — all serving as rallying cries when conditions are tough, responsibilities formidable and outcomes uncertain. There is none better known than the universal pledge of ‘no man left behind’.
ONE, the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel, is telling us, however, that too many who served in uniform in the Irish Defence Forces are being abandoned.
The charity runs three hostels for homeless veterans, providing more than 16,000 bed nights every year, and it is preparing to open another centre in Cobh.
Low pay, long absences from home, stressful experiences abroad and resulting family break-up all play their part in making this group particularly vulnerable to homelessness.
ONE has launched a very public ‘sleeping flags’ campaign, with members taking to the streets at night in tricoloured sleeping bags to ask for help to keep their services afloat.
It’s a rallying cry that goes beyond the barracks and camps and asks the public at large to leave no man behind.
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