Either by accident or design, your July 17 Insight op-ed (“Why are so many veterans homeless? They can’t afford lawyers”) completely ignored the institution that is solving veteran homelessness in the here and now: the veterans’ service organizations.

Whether it is the traditional organizations, such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, or the new organizations, like Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, these organizations are putting a roof over the heads of veterans, filing Veterans Affairs claims and processing discharge upgrades for an average membership fee of $30 a year, not the $100 an hour the average lawyer would charge.

Veterans service organizations have community connections with veteran-specific homeless projects, such as the Volunteers of America’s Veterans Career House and Huot House in Biddeford; Seeds of Hope, also in Biddeford; York County Shelter Programs in Alfred, and Preble Street Veterans Housing Services in Portland.

The Maine Military & Community Network, an organization of professionals established by the Maine National Guard, has chapters in every county concentrating on the reintegration process of the recently separated service personnel.

Veterans don’t need another expensive professional trying to make a buck off them. They need the help and support of other veterans who have already weathered the process, have the resources at their fingertips and offer the added support and understanding that only a veteran can provide to another.

John M. Flagler

Vietnam, 1969-70