A War Veteran Stays Patient & Keeps Smiling | Stories From the Street

A War Veteran Stays Patient & Keeps Smiling | Stories From the Street


-I back up like this. This is where I sleep at night. I lay my blankets down,
my backpacks. I tie my backpacks
onto my wheelchair so they can’t
steal them anymore. I try not to come here
before dark, ’cause I don’t like
pissing these people off, ’cause they’re really nice. I know everybody on this street.
I don’t bother nobody. I try to stay on this side
of the line. And I look at the cross a lot. I killed over 70 confirmed kills
as a sniper, and in firefights,
probably another couple hundred. I’m trying to atone
to the Lord right now for it, because I know he forgives me, but I can’t really believe
that in my heart yet, ’cause that’s a lot, a lot,
a lot of wrong things I did. My name is John Albert Rogers. You might see me
as a homeless person. I’m a Vietnam veteran, a father,
a United States citizen, and I love
the United States of America. My parents had a little bit
of money, and they were always busy, so my brother really raised me. He taught me
how to play baseball. I mean, I love the Dodgers, but I love my Mariners
and Seahawks. And no disrespect,
but my Mariners suck, man. We used to go out
to skating rinks and go roller-skating. He was basically my best friend. He always protected me. He always, um… He always did stuff for me. There was a military envelope
for him, and they told him to report
to the L.A. station at such and such a time. You know,
I begged him not to go. Said, “I’ll be back
in a year, John.” Sent him to Dover
in a black bag. He’s buried in Arlington. And, I mean,
all I did was cry, and I didn’t believe it. The military came,
gave the paperwork to my dad. That’s the saddest day
of my life. It was. When we flew back, I enlisted. I wasn’t drafted. I had to get a waiver ’cause I was the only living
human child in the family. My dad signed the waiver. I was over there
from ’69 to ’71. I enjoyed fighting
for my country, but when you go over there and you put your life on
the line for under $400 a month and you come back
and have people spit and throw stuff, urine, and totally disrespect you, I didn’t understand it. In base camps,
when we got under attack, there’d be 200 Marines
or 200 Army people, wherever we were,
firing at Vietnamese that were trying
to attack the base camp. [ Siren wailing, horn blaring ] I hear sounds now that I think
that come from back then, but I’m scared of sounds. I was so scared of noises
back then, they kept me in the VA hospital. I spent 35 days
in the psychiatric ward there. [ Laughs ] Sorry. I try to laugh
at just about every– Unless something’s really bad,
I try to laugh at everything. I mean, things go bad for me
so many days sometimes, but I believe
that whatever you give, he comes down
and hands it to you tenfold. When somebody walks by and just ignores me
when I just open my mouth, it makes me feel
like a non-person. They just don’t acknowledge you. Say, “No. Have a good day.” I can live with that. But every now and then,
one time a day, the Lord blesses me
just like I got blessed today. You still got to smile at life, because everything’s beautiful
in life. You just got to look at it
in a different angle, because we’re only here
for a short time. You’ve got to smile. I mean,
the Lord will take care of you. You just got to be patient. He doesn’t answer everything
immediately. Might take him a day or two.

100 thoughts on “A War Veteran Stays Patient & Keeps Smiling | Stories From the Street

  1. Agree he deserves respect for the time he served! However not really sure what this video is entailing. Is it to raise awareness about vets on the streets or just someone who you decided to talk to and record. Asking because if this was made to show people that we need help to get vets off the street then this video is not worth the effort, saying this becauae there are plenty more services available to vets then there are people who are homeless without a job and who are not able to get a job to get housing.n

  2. That is awesome i meet individuals that are happy everyday and smile also. However even though they smile and are happy does not mean that they are still in needing help. Some people are to prideful to ask for assistance and thus need someone to get them the assistance. Now with that being said you have to think about the things that people in general take for granted that others like homeless do not have. Think about it electricity, running water, bathroom, shower or bathtub and refridgerator. Now think about it us living in this glorious country we live in there is not one building in use that does not offer us these things. With that being said what of these things do homeless have when most places especially in los angeles do not allow people to use there facilitues unless they are customers and there is not suppose to be solicitation or loitering outside of businesses. Last i checked that was against the law. Now with that being said what does that offer for the individuals on the street? Well if they are able to find access to these facilities or ammendities, they eventually get ruined for all because to many people start to use or abuse them and they become no longer available. Thus making what that person was looking for not available. This individual whom i have had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with says he sees this type of thing happen all the time, that there are actually people who do this as a career of destroying it for the ones who actually are trying to settle into a place to look for a way to better their life. What i am saying is that those that want to change find a place and begin to get accustomed to an area and learn about the other people who do not want change but would rather continue down the path they are traveling and continue to beg for money without looki.g for any way to try to improve their life. They enjoy getting money for free from people and not working for it. It. Really hurts the people who are trying to only live this way for a short time because, when the ones who make a lifestyle out of it become familiar with the ones from the other surrounding areas, and a distribution area starts to provide more they let the others know and flock like turkeys to the place it offering more and take from the ones who are actually using it to become established and turn their life back on the track that does not lead down homelessness. It is the greedy bastards that ruin it for the ones that are using it as a means to support themselves until they get back where they no longer need it. However when the greedies come in and use up all the resources it makes the others have to again relocate to find another spot.

  3. Thank you for sharing a little bit of light on this dark world SoulPancake. Made my day after attending a lecture on abuse of minorities in the agricultural field.

  4. i wish john all the best. his story is a great example how cruel and terrible war is. it destroys families and lifes. the fact that he still can laugh and smile at people is very inspiring!

  5. I started crying when i watched this video. From now on, i'm going to smile and say hi to everybody who smiles at me. I don't have Words, for how bad i feel for this man. He knows he don't have the perfect life, but he is posotive and greatful for all the small beautiful things in life. I think we all can learn from John.

  6. This man deserves to stand in front of a giant room of teens and tell them his stories. Their lives will change. Then he should should get paid for it.

  7. This made me cry… John seems like he is a great man with such great faith and positivity! I hope he finds happiness, health, and a home.

  8. There's no reason why veterans should be homeless…they provided an honourable service…the least the country can do is provide them with an honourable home

  9. Seeing a grown man in tears, and when you look him in the eye, it brings so much emotion and thoughts in one's mind…dem feels

  10. Dude man don't do this to me I became so emotional once he started talking! This is a good man he doesn't deserve to be homeless! It breaks my heart.

  11. What a courteous andΒ gracious human being. It breaks my heart to know that many of the people who have or will interact/see him, will not reciprocate.

  12. For you folks out in the comments saying you want to help out "this man", make good to your word and help out the people you see when you are out on your local streets. At least look into volunteering, there are tons of people like this guy out there.

  13. What a beautiful video. SoulPancake, I don't understand how you're not the most subscribed channel on YouTube. Everything you produce is so touching and life-changing. This man is lovely, and so inspiring. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing what you do, SP.

  14. That is why I HATE the war protesting hippies during the Vietnam war. Bunch a privileged rich kids spitting on the poor kids who got drafted or enlisted because they had no other option. Stupid hippies run the world now while John lives on the streets. They need to repent for their social sins

  15. Now see, THATS how everyone should be living life. With a goo attitude, even though things may be tough. We should all try to find the bright side in things, by helping others, choosing to see the wonder in things, smiling more, and laughing! Laugh, laugh, laugh, all the time, even at the bad stuff. The world needs more people like John. People who are optimistic, happy (as much as they can be), and who choose to be kind to others even if they don't get that in return. Keep smiling, John! πŸ™‚

  16. This is so touching to the heart that I have tears running down my face people like this need to be heard and need to be help

  17. Wow, such a moving video.. thanks for making me cry. πŸ™‚ I definitely would like to know how I could bless this man. He by far is a way better person than I am and I now inspire to be as positive and hopefully as he is.

  18. There's going to be thousands of men like him in the next few years. War is hell. But sometimes coming home is nearly as bad.

  19. I felt so much love coming from this amazing man that it made me cry so hard. But then again I don't think I've ever watched a soulpancake video without crying.

  20. I absolutely love the messages behind the videos by SoulPancake. It really puts things into perspective, and inspires us to be better people. My eyes have been opened a bit more as have learned to be a little bit less judgemental. Every one is a human being and to each their own story.

  21. I had friends in the town I used to live in and they always had a bag full of things to give to the homeless they would stop the car get out and hand it to them I was shocked at how amazing and selfless this was! Thanks for bringing back awesome memories SP love you guys!

  22. This is so inspiring! πŸ™‚ John, if you ever see this, just know that God will absolutely (and I'm sure has already) forgive you. No matter how much evil anyone has done, if you confess your sins to God and ask for His forgiveness, He will forgive you. Just think of Saul who became Paul. He slaughtered so many Christians, and yet, God forgave him and look at how much he was used to influence the church and the bible! Thanks Soul Pancake, for another awesome video πŸ™‚

  23. His eyes are absolutely beautiful. His outlook on life is so inspiring, and hearing his story made me cry… I wish the best for this man <3

  24. Still thinking about you John, I hope you are doing well. Wish someone would update us about your status. Take care, happy Memorial Day.

  25. how about ssi and social security…..he should be entitled to something? he served our country……

  26. Just coming back to say hello John. 5 years later I still think about you in this video. I hope you’re doing well, hopefully a place to stay. It would be nice if soulpancake would follow up with you. Anyways, if I could personally write you a letter I would. God bless you man. I hope you still have that smile on your face!

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