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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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In strange-but-true news, the last known surviving spouse of a Civil War veteran just died last month.

How is that even possible? The U.S. Civil War took place from 1861 to 1865, and no one who survived the war is still alive. However, there are two things that make it possible: 1) As much as we might like to imagine that Americans fighting over the right to own Black people was super ancient history, the Civil War was just 160 years ago. That's two 80-year-olds living back to back. 2) Some people live long lives and have unlikely marriages, which makes for fascinating historical stories like this one.

Helen Viola Jackson died December 16 at age 101. She was 17 when she married 93-year-old James Bolin, a widower who had served as a private in the 14th Missouri Cavalry of the Union army, in 1936.

A 17-year-old marrying a 93-year-old definitely raises some eyebrows, but the story is actually kind of sweet.

A statement shared by the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival offers context to the union:

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via Business Insider

The United States' suicide rate was at its highest since World War II before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Lawmakers and health experts worry that the intense economic and social pressures that have resulted from the pandemic will exacerbate this problem even further.

One of the most effective ways that people suffering from suicidal ideation and psychological distress can get immediate help is by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). This call center provides free, confidential emotional support form trained experts and volunteers.

It's an easy way to get help without having to wait. Ninety-seven percent of all calls are picked up within 75 seconds of the initial phone greeting.

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A veteran died alone, so hundreds of strangers showed up to honor him at his military funeral

"This veteran has no immediate family. All are welcome to attend."

via Legacy Options

Edward Pearson was born in Pennsylvania on April 23, 1939 and he lived on a farm. He served in the U.S. Army from 1962 and 1964.

He was married once, divorced once, and had no children. He spent that last 25 years of his living in Naples, Florida where he was beloved at his local Publix grocery store.

The last few years of his life were hard for Pearson. He lived in a trailer that was damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. His kitchen leaked and the trailer was filled with mold.

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