How It All Happened
The government has recently estimated that more than 50,000 veterans are currently homeless. Of this number, 13,000 of these veterans live on the streets.
Until recently, German Leon was one of those many homeless veterans. He had been homeless for decades until the kindness of a stranger saved him.
From the view point of Leon’s family, Leon was a 21-year-old Army vet who had just returned home. However in 1984, he disappeared.
“He went to Atlanta to work,” said Marta Sallie, his younger sister. “I got worried when I saw a year, then two years, and then when it got to five years, I was like something is wrong.”
During this time Leon bounced from job to job, only able to find part-time jobs that barely made enough for Leon to survive. Unfortunately, Leon was eventually left with no choice and was forced to stay in various homeless shelters.
Patricia Green, a social worker with the Veterans Administration, shared,
“He was like a gentle giant”.
Green visited a shelter that Leon had been staying at in Atlanta and noticed that Leon was suffering had untreated mental health issues.
“And so I asked, well, where is your family. And he said, I don’t know,” she said.
Green took to the internet in order to find the whereabouts of Leon’s family. Green even sent Facebook messages to four potential family members she had linked to Leon.
“And the very next day, I get a call from the sister,” Green said. “And she’s like, ‘is this a joke?'”
“I thought it was a hoax,” said Sallie. “When I heard his voice, I knew it was real.”
Leon had not seen his family for more than 32 years.
Their reunion was more than joyous.
“We hugged and told him that I never gave up on him,” Sallie said.
Leon was completely overwhelmed when he saw his family again.
“I was shocked, crying on the inside,” he said.
Both Leon and Sallie admit it was a miracle they were reunited. Leon is now back home with his loving family.