DALLAS (KRLD) – According to statistics, about one out of five homeless Americans are military veterans. NewsRadio 1080 KRLD spoke with one veteran who now lives at a shelter in downtown Dallas.
Vietnam veteran Dale Scott Bolton is one of some 2,500 homeless vets reportedly living in North Texas.
“I had a hard time over there, for a small length of time,” Bolton remembered, “while we got our tails between our legs, got on the transport and got out of there. It was pretty rough.”
Bolton has been homeless since 2003 when he was paid off.
“I was working at Phillips Petroleum up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and they like went under. Ya know, completely. Like a 50-percent staff reduction — that got me.”
Bolton says he holds a master’s degree in engineering, a credential he thought was recession proof.
“People are just real hesitant to hire an engineer over 50,” he said.
Despite having had a few strokes, Bolton says he continues his effort to get work.
Bolton, who now lives in a shelter where everything from his laptop to his clothes has been stolen, said this isn’t what he expected after serving his country.
“I’m lucky to get out. They say ‘you get out and it’s all gravy for the rest of your life’ and I say ‘Huh. This is gravy?’”
Bolton has been homeless since 2003.