97-Year-Old WWII Vet About to Be Evicted From His NYC Home. Merry Effing Christmas

A 97-year-old World War II veteran—one who was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by the Japanese—is being kicked out of his Brooklyn, N.Y., home, according to a report.


The Rev. James Blakely says that he’s being evicted from his apartment in the New York City borough some five years after, he says, it was gifted to him rent-free.

“They’re trying to put me out. It’s injustice,” the war hero—who earned Navy combat stars for his service in Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and Luzon, in the Philippines—said to the New York Daily News. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. ... I don’t feel good. I got no place else to go.”

The News first reported about Blakely in 2012, when he was living out of a ramshackle trailer. The organization Black Veterans for Social Justice saw the story and offered to help, putting him into the apartment he currently lives in. Blakely says he understood that he’d never have to pay rent.

However, the News reports that officials with Black Veterans say that Blakely signed a lease to pay $778 a month for the apartment after the first year, and then $635 after his rent was reduced.

Last year, Blakely reportedly received an eviction notice saying that he owed $24,130, a fact he attributes to the rapidly gentrifying Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood he lives in, and the “pending sale of the rent-stabilized building to a Manhattan developer.”

The News reports that the “plucky war vet” is obviously distressed about being removed from his home.


“I lay down at night and don’t know if I’ll have a place to lay down tomorrow night. It’s not a pleasant feeling,” said Blakely. “This is home. It’s a place to live, sleep and cook. I just want my one-bedroom apartment. That’s not a lot to ask.”

“Where would I go if I’m kicked out of here?” he asks.

Somebody please start a (legitimate) GoFund Me for this man. If the government won’t take care of him, we should.


Read more at the New York Daily News.

Editor’s note: We are happy to report that there is, in fact, a GoFundMe forBlakely:

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.



Just Ranting

Another brave veteran being disrespected, cheated & lied to by the country he risked his life for. America is full of fake patriotism, it’s just a bunch of rules made up to keep the have nots in line & in their place. This country doesn’t care about veterans...until they want to use & abuse them. Fake patriots screaming about Taking A Knee disrespects their flag copped out by saying it’s disrespecting our soldiers...then don’t bat an eye when veterans end up like this brave man. Just fake.

Veterans shouldn’t ever have to worry about becoming homeless or starving for their next meal. It don’t make sense for a country to claim it loves its’ veterans so much but mistreat them. America signs up high school babies to risk their limbs & lives...before they can even vote or have their first drink. When the recruiters come to the school they make the army look all glamorous...but never show what amputees & dead bodies look like. They promise them sign in bonuses that don’t even matter if they get shot up before making it back home. Sometimes they make it back in one piece...but their mind doesn’t...because they end up suffering from PTSD. And the government sho’ nuff doesn’t like dealing with that. And the craziest part is that the soldiers have to go overseas and fight someone else’s war...somebody they don’t even know. They can’t even get justice...at home. They get sent off to war but the higher ups in the gov’t...get to stay home...and act like they did something.

Ain’t nothing but fake patriotism.