Homeless, struggling veterans too common in Butte County

"Statistics say we loose 22 veterans a day to suicide, they think it's the end, so obviously something needs to be done," said Begatlove.

Posted: Nov. 10, 2017 5:21 PM
Updated: Nov. 10, 2017 5:53 PM

"Some people are a little too hard on themselves, seeing war is a miserable thing, it's kind of a necessary evil, it has to be done," said Byron "Storey" Begatlove.

Begatlove spent eight years in the naval reserve, right after the Gulf War.

Back in the North State, he's just moved into the Vectors House in Chico, a transitional home to help veterans who've fallen on hard times.

"I'm going to stick around this area so I can get my teeth fixed!" he explains.

While Begatlove's taking the help available to him, there are so many who don't.

"I know a lot of veterans, living in the foothills, they think they're taking away from the front line by accepting help, they need to know this is a different stack of funding," said Begatlove.

Then there are those suffering from PTSD or other medical issues.

"Statistics say we loose 22 veterans a day to suicide, they think it's the end, so obviously something needs to be done," said Begatlove.

Despite all the resources available, there are at least 90 veterans living on the streets of Chico alone.

"I was really sad. I had the impression, because sometimes we don't see them as vets, that we were doing better as a county," said Laura Cootsona, Executive Director of the Jesus Center.

In Chico, the services are here. But is it enough?

"Transition services are still needed, it's better they've learned a lot from the Vietnam Era, but there's still more need," said Begatlove.

And a helping hand can come in many forms.

"One of the things we make a habit of doing around here is if we know someone's a veteran, we thank them for their service, it's a practice of ours to be grateful," said Cootsona

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