A homeless veteran’s stunning transformation
Find out the story behind the heartwarming video over at Share It Now.
Healing Sgt. Warren
A man driven to war by outrage over 9/11 after a reckless youth, Jonathan Warren rose through the ranks during his tenure in Iraq, but his greatest test left him crippled by self-doubt and cast him adrift once he left the rigors of military life.
He kept thinking of how he failed to charge into the flaming truck to pull his buddy out. Was it vanity that stopped him? Was he worried about his looks?
And why had he crawled away as his friend burned?
The Army gave Warren a Purple Heart and put him back on patrol. His eyes were hypersensitive. Daylight speared into his brain. He fought through headaches so painful they brought tears. At night his heart beat so hard he thought he felt his bed shaking.
Follow along with Warren’s struggle to come to terms with his blame for his close friend’s horrific injuries, his efforts to put his life back together, in reporter Christopher Goffard’s incredible story.
Photos: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
Memorial Day: Remembering the nation’s fallen
Across the country, Americans are commemorating the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans, and that of those still in active service. In the Afghanistan and Iraq wars alone, 736 Californians have died supporting U.S. efforts abroad.
The Times has built up a resource to remember those 736 lives, one by one, with memories from their loved ones.
Photos: John Ehlke, The Daily News, Mel Evans, John Minchillo / Associated Press, Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
Fight club reawakens and channels veterans’ warrior spirit: In a sweaty, loud San Diego gym, veterans train in mixed martial arts, fighting each other and the demons they brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photo: Veterans join hands in a half-circle after their workout and shout, “Brotherhood!” Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
More women falling into ranks of homeless veterans: The number of homeless female vets has risen sharply during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though they didn’t have direct combat roles, they suffer many of the stresses that plague male vets — often while trying to raise children alone.
Photo: Ruth Donaldson with her son, Dante, at Jubilee House, a private shelter for homeless female veterans in Fayetteville, N.C. Credit: David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times
When it comes to dispensing healthcare, war veterans are a hard group to reach. But bartenders at VFW canteens, who develop family-like ties with patrons, are well-positioned to identify those in crisis and steer them toward professional help.
Photo: Dori Keys, a bartender at VFW Post 1503 in Virginia, is a sister, confessor, wisecracker and friend to the combat veterans who are her patrons, among them Bruce Yeager, left. Credit: Mary F. Calvert / For The Times
Homeless vets work on historic structures and their own lives At Heritage Square in Los Angeles, veterans who have struggled learn such skills as masonry, carpentry and even selecting Victorian color schemes.
Photo: Joseph Cruz, 23, right, a Marines veteran who served in Iraq, logs his work hours as Army veteran Charles Varnado, 51, moves materials from one area to another. The two are taking part in a program to restore historic buildings at Heritage Square Museum in Highland Park. Credit: Christina House / For The Times