In 1981, five Vietnam Veterans, Jack Lyon, Bill Mahedy, Randy Way, Paul Grasso, and Russ Kelly were sitting around in a group counseling session discussing the traumas of war and looking to enhance services from the VA. They were not happy with the services that were available to them at that time and talking seriously about mounting a combat assault on the VA. They knew they would probably get arrested, but they were desperate to shine a spotlight on the lack of medical and psychological care for Vietnam Veterans. With that they launched Veterans Village of San Diego. In 1984 they opened The “Landing Zone”, a 44-bed licensed alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility.
Since then they have opened 14 facilities. They're about to open their 15th for homeless veterans will soon have a place to call their own in Escondido, California. The Veterans Village Apartments are in their final steps of getting ready for their first tenant to move in. They’re now accepting applications and staff say they’ve got room for about 52 vets to live there.
William McCeig is one of the fortunate veterans to be moving into his own place after spending the last 11 years living on the streets. “I’m exceptionally lucky that everything lined up,” the 57-year-old former Army air corpsman says.