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Boston man marching into battle for homeless veterans

June 26, 2012|By RAYCHEL HARVEY-JONES | rharveyjones@herald-mail.com
  • Kenneth Bruce, right, poses with volunteer firefighter Chuck Harold in front of Antietam Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 on Summit Avenue in Hagerstown. Bruce stopped in Hagerstown recently during his walk across the Northeast to raise awareness about the needs of homeless military veterans.
Photo by Raychel Harvey-Jones

HAGERSTOWN — “The message is simple,” Kenneth Bruce said. “Veterans need help.”

Bruce, a Boston, Mass., resident, has been walking since April 7 to raise awareness across the Northeast for homeless veterans.

“I will walk for the rest of my life if that’s what it takes to make people aware of the need to help the veterans of America. Many of the older veterans don’t know what benefits they are entitled to and are not sure of where to look for help,” Bruce said.

Bruce said he decided to make helping veterans his personal goal in 2012. Welcomed by the residents of Hagerstown, he arranged for area shops to donate clothing and haircuts to local vets.

“Many of them can’t attend a job interview as they have no smart clothes, and they need haircuts to give off the right image to potential employers,”  Bruce said.

There were 476,202 veterans in Maryland in 2010, which makes up 9.8 percent of the total population of veterans in the United States, according to the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

Maryland Forward — the Governors Forum on Veterans Affairs recognizes that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are faced with the difficult challenge of reintegrating back into everyday life.

“Many are suffering from invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and substance abuse,” Gov. Martin O’Malley has said.

“There seem to be lots of official people trying to help vets. I am just passionate, and I want to help the men and women who have served our country,” Bruce said.

To see the full interview and the launch of a new show on HMTV Channel 6, tune into Channel 6 on Antietam cable on Monday July 16 to watch “Through A Veteran’s Eye,” hosted by Art Callaham and Raychel Harvey-Jones.

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