Red - Homeless Vet, Fairfax, Virginia

I was walking on a path that went behind a shopping center when I came across Red sitting on the bench.

He pointed to a branch on the path behind me.

“See the peanut butter I put on the branch over there? I gotta squirrel - you scared him up the tree when you walked up, but he was coming over and eating that peanut butter right off the branch. Loves it. He’s getting to know me. Brought him M&Ms yesterday. In a week or so, I’ll have him sitting right up on my shoulder. I love nature.”
“Have you named him yet?”
“Nah, I won’t name him till he sits on my shoulder, till we’re friends…When I was growing up poor back in Louisiana, I used to eat squirrels for breakfast. I’d get up early in the morning, hunt down 4-5 squirrels, dress ‘em, and fry em up with some gravy and rice. And then I’d go off to school smelling like squirrel."