Everybody who works for a living deserves to make a living wage.

Everybody.


But the words of Derrell Odom, a Marine and veteran of two tours in Iraq, bring it home even more when he talks about life at minimum wage.


"I don't want my son to look at me like I'm something less because I have to work for $7.25 and I bust my butt every day and I take pride in what I do … we have a voice and we want it to be heard."

Don't we owe it to people like Derrell that good jobs with benefits and a decent paycheck are part of the deal when they come back home?

I'll say it again: Good jobs with benefits and a decent paycheck should be part of the deal of living here.

On Veterans Day, rather than only posting well wishes to vets on Facebook, how about getting the word out that there are people like Derrell who came back from the bowels of hell to make $7.25 an hour?

It's a national disgrace that needs to change.

I came across some interesting things when I started researching this, and I'd like to pass them along.

1. An estimated 1 million veterans would receive a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10.

2. Some employers shy away from hiring veterans because they're worried about PTSD.

3. In fact, some veterans even hide their experience in the service because they're worried about their employer judging them, or their coworkers begin concerned about their mental health status.

What often results when people live like this? Depression, a worsening of already-existing PTSD, a downward spiral that can lead to homelessness and poverty, and more.

Approximately 57,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.

That's almost 12% of the total adult homeless population.

But even worse? Suicide, related to these issues and many others.

Studies have shown that suicide rates among veterans are 50% higher than among civilians.

Image by Copy Editor/Wikimedia Commons.

Some companies, like Starbucks, get it. It was just announced that Starbucks will be offering free tuition to Arizona State University to a family member of the veterans who work for the company. It already offers tuition assistance to employees working toward an undergraduate degree at ASU, but this is icing on the cake for veterans who work there.

Meanwhile, here's Derrell with one and a half minutes of YES.

That sound of desperation in his voice? It's very real for veterans of all kinds, as well as anybody working at $7.25 an hour or close to it.

If you agree with him, pass this around. It might just open some eyes.

via Jeremy Hogan / YouTube

Vauhxx Booker, a civil rights activist from Bloomington, Indiana, claims that a group of white men threatened to lynch him during an altercation on July 4 near Lake Monroe, but he was saved by onlookers who intervened.

Video taken during the incident shows he was held down by a group of men who pinned him to a tree in a wooded area. Booker says that while he was being held down, the men threatened to break his arms, repeatedly said "get a noose," and told his friends to leave the area.

The men later let him go after being confronted by onlookers who gathered at the scene.

The incident began, according to Booker, when he and his friends were making their way to the lake to see the lunar eclipse when a white man on an ATV told them they were trespassing. When Booker and his friends continued to walk to the lake, the man on the ATV and his friends allegedly shouted "white power" at them, which is when things turned violent.

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