Who are the People In Your Neighborhood? Chicago Veterans bring back Old School Neighborhood Values


There’s a touching video circulating on Facebook that gives “It takes a Village to raise a child.” to a whole new meaning. In this case, it takes a team of Veterans to ensure that 10,000 children make it to and from school SAFETY. (Go to Youtube and type in NationSwell)

These Veterans patrol the mean streets of Chicago to send an important message to children and those looking to recruit children into illegal activity that these Veterans very presence matters.  One, there’s accountability and 2) there’s immediate intervention. I can only imagine what a relief it is for the school district, parents, the law enforcement and even neighbors knowing these children have comfortably make it their destinations unharmed.

Spoiler Alert:  The Veterans appearance will surprise you. When you see the video, you’ll see why its a win-win situation for youngsters.

 Throughout the video, you may wonder “What’s motivates these Veterans to risk their lives and what are they getting out of this horrific situation?” Here’s the answer. Ready?

“When they come out of the military, there is a moment where they say “Well, what is my new purposes? states  Eli Williamson, Co-Founder of No Veteran Left Behind.

“Doing alright?” a young veteran, who looks like he could be any one of these children’s older brother inquires sincerely.

Anyone who watches this video and grew up in the old school era, when neighbors instituted their own form of  Neighborhood Watch. Everyone watched out for each other. Period.

Here’s what I fondly recall about our Neighbors/Neighborhood

  • They weren’t apprehensive about giving us directives: “Go home, Lock the door,  Stay in groups.”
  • They were like Co-parents when your parents were absent or working
  • They literally kept their eyes on you–AT ALL TIMES
  • They were vigilant in their efforts to walk with you, making sure you walked in group, made sure you, your siblings, friends were accounted for–as in roll call.
  • In a heart beat, they would stage an intervention if they thought there was any hint of trouble. Back then, there was no such thing as Stranger Danger because they wouldn’t have allowed it.
  • They were Mentors
  • They were Nosy (in a good way)
  • Luckily for us,  our neighbors were culturally diverse and all of them contributed to raising us–And we turned out pretty good–if I must say so myself!

To the Veterans in the video and countless others who are making an inedible difference in children’s lives: Thank you for reminding me there are still people who take the lives of our future children SERIOUSLY.








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