Once-homeless vet invited to attend State of the Union speech
Once-homeless vet invited to attend State of the Union speech Cynthia Dias holds Copper, a friend's dog who she looks after, at her apartment in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Once-homeless vet invited to attend State of the Union speech
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A formerly homeless veteran from Las Vegas was invited to sit in first lady Michelle Obama's visitor box during the State of the Union address.  The speech was on Jan. 12.
 
Cynthia Dias, 64, served during the Vietnam War.  She was on a hospital ship as a registered nurse. She attributed her years of homelessness to post-traumatic stress disorder.
 
About a year ago, Dias says, she was able to move from a homeless shelter for women and children into a former motel in downtown Las Vegas. It was renovated through private donations. Now it provides 122 units of housing for veterans. While staying in Veterans Village, residents like Dias get access to health care, job training and counseling.
 
The Obama administration is highlighting a challenge that the first lady and Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, issued for local leaders to do more to end veteran homelessness in 2015.
 
Las Vegas responded to the call. City leaders say they have enough services and programs in place to house every homeless veteran.
 
Dias said she's in shock from Mrs. Obama's invitation. Dias hopes people will think about her survival when they see her.
 
"I survived and I'm thriving here at Veterans Village," Dias said.
 
"For me, it's been a heaven-sent gift to be among other veterans who are suffering from PTSD," she said. "The camaraderie that veterans have for one another, it's better medication than the anti-depressants."
 
The founder of Veterans Village is Arnold Stalk.  He said it's important to get veterans off the street first and into a stable environment. Once that happens, it's easier to provide the health care and other support they'll need to live in a home permanently.
 
Dias was to join two other Obama guests. They are supporters who the president says provided early inspiration to his campaign.
 
One is Edith Childs, of Greenwood, South Carolina.  She met Obama at a rally in her state in June 2007. Obama credits her with coining the "Fired up! Ready to go!" call-and-response. It became a rallying cry for both of his White House bids.
 
Another guest was expected to be Earl Smith.  He was head of security at an Austin hotel when he met Obama in February 2008. He gave Obama a military patch he had carried with him for 40 years. Obama carried it with him for the rest of the campaign.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/once-homeless-vet-invited-attend-state-union-speech/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did Mrs. Obama invite the vet instead of someone more famous?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (52)
  • Eric0221-YYCA
    1/15/2016 - 01:13 a.m.

    The homeless vet might have once working during the Vietnam War because the homeless vet might have been surprised to see that Mrs. Obama is inviting her to the white house because the homeless vet might have never been invited to the white house. The vet might not have been expecting to become invited to the White house because the vet might not have been invited to the white house in her life because she might have not have thought about her invitation. The vet might have been surprised about Mrs. Obama to be inviting a poor homeless vet because vet might have not have been invited by the president's wife to be visiting the white house. Mrs. Obama might have chosen the vet because she might have had plans for the homeless vet in Las Vegas because she might have something for Mrs. Obama.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why did Mrs. Obama invite the vet instead of someone more famous?
    Answer: Because Mrs. Obama might have knew that the vet used to be working as a nurse during the Vietnam war.

  • jasminec-6-bar
    1/15/2016 - 01:39 a.m.

    Mrs.Obama invited the vet, Cynthia Dias, to represent the homeless veteran population and bring awareness to the issue,"The Obama administration is highlighting a challenge," as oppposed to just inviting a famous person to boost the ratings or something along those lines.
    I enjoyed reading this article because it made me happy to hear that accomodations are being provided to the people that once fought for the safety of the country and it's citizens.

  • oliviaw-4-bar
    1/15/2016 - 02:23 a.m.

    Mrs. Obama invited formerly-homeless, veteran, Cynthia Dias to attend the State of the Union address speech. Although many people also deserve this invitation, Dias most likely relieved it because, "the Obama administration is highlighting a challenge that the First Lady and Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, issued for local leaders to do more to end veteran homelessness in 2015". I found this article to be very interesting as well as motivating to help those in need.

  • nicolettem-2-bar
    1/15/2016 - 04:09 p.m.

    Ms Obama invited a vet instead of someone famous because she wanted to show the importance of PTSD.

  • sofiap-3-bar
    1/15/2016 - 04:58 p.m.

    Mrs. Obama invited the once homeless veteran to the State of the Union Speech because she has made it clear that, throughout her years in office, she want to help veterans off the street. Mrs Obama felt that Cynthia Dias, age 64, had a very inspiring story. I chose this article because when I watched the State of the Union Speech on T.V I wanted to know who the special guests were.

  • sheridanm-6-bar
    1/15/2016 - 05:39 p.m.

    Mrs. Obama invited the vet instead of someone more famous because she needed someone to support her cause for the veteran foundation. "Dias was to join two other Obama guests. They are supporters who the president says provided early inspiration to his campaign." I really enjoyed this article because I see homeless veterans all the time and believe they deserve a home too.

  • jackr-2-bar
    1/15/2016 - 06:27 p.m.

    Mrs. Obama invited Dias instead of someone more famous because she is a supporter of the veterans and she knows that Dias is a large supporter of the Obama campaign. One thing I found interesting is why Dias was chosen out of the many democratic veterans in the United States.

  • erino-6-bar
    1/15/2016 - 08:50 p.m.

    Mrs. Obama invited Cynthia Dias to the State of the Union Speech instead of someone more famous to bring attention to homeless veterans in need. The first lady is trying to begin an organization to help homeless veterans find a place to live. The first step in this project was when the "Obama administration is highlighting a challenge that the first lady and Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, issued for local leaders to do more to end veteran homelessness" This was a large step because, although many people already knew about it, this showed that it it a big enough problem to have gone to the government. Therefore proving that the reason she invited Dias to the State of the Union Speech was to bring attention to vets who need help.

    I found this article interesting because I was surprised that the amount of homeless veterans has gotten to the point where it had to be taken into the hands of the government.

  • danielab-hol
    1/18/2016 - 10:09 a.m.

    Mrs.Obama invited a once homeless vet "Cynthia Dias". Mrs.Obama invited her instead of a more famous person. She invited her because she needs a supporter and Dias is a veteran and had been serving many years to protect our country.

  • taylorl-3-bar
    1/18/2016 - 08:05 p.m.

    BECAUSE SHE WAS HAPPY FOR THE KIDS THAT WERE FAMOUS AND THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR OUR FREEDOM. I CHOSE THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE IT LOOKED INTERESTING.

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