Tag: Veteran’s Administration

Tony Jones, Homeless Veteran in Nation’s Capital, Gets New Apartment for The Holidays

Tony Jones in his new apartment (photo via abcnews.go.com)
Tony Jones in his new apartment (photo via abcnews.go.com)

After almost ten years of living in a tent in the woods of Southeast Washington DC, Army veteran Tony Jones is finally getting his own home.

“I can’t even express in words how I feel right now. I just know I feel, I feel great,” Jones said. “I feel good. I feel like James Brown, I feel good! AOWWW!”

Through the help of Miriam’s Kitchen, Jones obtained a Veterans Administration voucher to cover his renting fees. Miriam’s Kitchen is a non-profit in DC mandated to end homelessness in the area by providing housing and food to the area’s less fortunate. The organization claims to have a 92 percent success rate in keeping people off the street.

No one in Jones’ family knew he was homeless, despite the fact that he still kept in touch with them and occasionally visited his mother. He said that as a grown man, he didn’t want sympathy from others.

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Verna Jones Named American Legion’s First Female Executive Director

Verna JonesThe American Legion has named Verna Jones its new executive director, making her the first woman to lead the veterans’ organization in its nearly 100-year history.

Jones, an attorney and Army veteran who served as a personnel sergeant, stepped into her new role on Nov. 1. Legion spokesman Marty Callaghan said he believed that Jones is the organization’s first African-American executive director, but he couldn’t confirm it absolutely. Previously, she served as the director of the Legion’s veterans affairs and rehabilitation division.

“We’re still focused on the [Department of Veterans Affairs], the quality of health care, timeliness, the backlog, benefits — all the things that we’ve been focusing on, and the things that veterans need. Access to health care is huge for us,” Jones said in an interview with The Huffington Post in her new office.

Jones became the most animated when asked about sexual assault in the military, an issue that several members of the Legion, including Jones, have testified about before Congress. The organization has said the military needs to have a “zero tolerance policy” on the issue.

“To those people who may assault people, [we need to] let them know that we’re not going to stand for that, and there are some very serious consequences the first time,” said Jones. “So we’ve got to create programs, we’ve got to create awareness, and we have to be willing to say that military sexual trauma exists. Stop sweeping it under the rug and pretending it’s a small thing, because it’s not.

“There needs to be punishment,” she added. “Something punitive needs to happen. If you’re in the military and you sexually assault somebody, then you don’t need to be in the military anymore.”

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