Sunday, August 12, 2012

A good night's sleep.....

August 12, 2012 ~ An update to our homeless veteran, Eugene Pottinger. So this afternoon I stopped to ask a few additional questions. Primarily to find out if he had identification on him so that we can move forward with getting him home to San Diego, CA. I found out that he has his social security card and that's all. This could be a little of a challenge as most places want a picture id and I am not sure that we can get him an ID card without a birth certificate. I told him that I am working to get him back home and how does he prefer to go... by plane or bus. He didn't want to go by plane and said a bus would be great. It would be a 2 day travel with 3 transfers. I then asked him if he had someone who could pick him up and he said his wife would pick him up. I asked him how he specifically got to Columbia, MO (or rather Midway) and he said he was working in North Carolina and got laid off and caught a ride here.  I told him I would check into everything tomorrow morning and meet him to give him the information I find out.

I decided that he needed to have a good night's rest before traveling as he probably hasn't had a good night's rest in awhile. I purchased a room at Midway's Budget Inn and for $35.67 and now he has a room for the night. The gentleman and woman that were running the front desk were super nice and said that he sits in the restaurant every night and doesn't bother anyone but is very friendly. I went back and told Eugene that I paid for a room for the night and I put it under his first name since I didn't know his last name. He then told me his last name was Pottinger. He was very happy and shook my hand and was headed to the hotel just now.

Tomorrow hopefully (after talking to the supervisor at Greyhound here in Columbia) we can successfully get him on the road.... one step closer to home!

Thank you all for the private messages willing to help out with getting Eugene home. There have been so many from people I don't even know to my close friends asking what we can do. You all have willing hearts and helping hands that make our community so unique. I truly can't express how happy my heart is knowing we are a step closer to helping this man get back home to be reunited with his family. Keep your fingers crossed the supervisor figures out a way to get him on the bus with just a social security card!


  1. Be careful. No doubt he has done this before. You really think he has a wife? Unfortunately I have had personal experience with homeless vet. He has a ton of resources but is choosing not to use them. Although your thoughts are honorable, you may not be helping him in the big picture of life. He would have a military ID that he would NOT loose if he were a vet. I donate and suggest others to donate to Welcome Home, a homeless shelter for vets on the business loop. It is a wonderful place and they really appreciate help and put it to good use.

  2. I agree with anonymous. There are better ways to help OUR community

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Take another look at Ms. Spry’s blog introduction. It simply states “This is all about things important to me…. Family, friends & everything in between!” Yes, Ms. Spry took a gamble by believing in Eugene Pottinger and the accuracy of his story. I commend her for taking a risk with her kindness, graciousness and inspiring belief in one man’s silent campaign to just go home. Please reread her earlier posts. Eugene didn’t approach her nor ask for her kindness. He silently sat for several weeks sitting in the same spot. There is no telling how many people passed him by each and every day. I have to admit that I was one of them who saw him just sitting there without offering so much as a “hello.”

    I stood at the funeral processional of a young man that had given his life for his country only a few weeks ago. It wasn’t the first military funeral that I have attended in my years nor will it be the last. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I knew that a vet was sitting at the side of the road silently willing someone to offer him a few kind words, a job, a plate, or even a way home. Even if Eugene had told Michele Spry the most elaborate falsehood of his life (and hers), it doesn’t matter. She rose above us all by simply stopping, rolling down her window and acknowledging that this man mattered.

    I do acknowledge that there are homeless individuals with needs beyond our individual resources. Keeping organizations such as Welcome Home Inc. in our arsenal of resources is a wonderful idea. Their website provides a wealth of information if you are interested lending your hand to others in similar situations.

    Thank you.

    1. Michele: You're amazing! You have a good heart and I'm glad you're helping Mr. Pottinger.

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    "He would have a military ID that he would NOT loose if he were a vet." My dad is a Vietnam Vet. From his time of service, the only thing he has is photos because he doesn't want to forget any of the men he served with. He has nothing of his from his time of service, not even his military ID. I was not born until 1975 but as I have been told our brave soilders serving in Vietnam were often times not treated well when they returned home because so many didn't believe in their cause. They were not given the heros welcome our soilders are given today. My dad is very proud that he chose to inlist in the Marines, and served in Vietnam, but he wanted to move on with his life when he got home, and to do that, he decided to get rid of everything. I do think now, he wishes he had held on to some of his stuff but what's done is done.

    You may or may not be right Eugene, but sometimes all people need in life is just a little help, and what if his story is exactly what he says it is, and everyone in the world thought like you?????