Newspapers are expected to report the news and most do that very well.
Good newspapers take the next step and tell you the stories of their community, those that inspire, those that make you worry and those that make you think.
Don Lehman’s in-depth account of a homeless Vietnam veteran living in the woods in Queensbury is one of those stories that do all three.
What is also important is that Don and the editors of this newspaper took care in how this story would be told. Don spent months visiting with the man and getting to know him before attempting to tell the story.
There was concern about revealing where he lives, even though many knew he was there.
Having a 69-year-old man living in the woods in a community that is generally considered prosperous raises multiple questions regarding the care of the homeless, post traumatic stress in veterans and what is society’s role in providing a helping hand where none is wanted.
It is good journalism to ask those questions.
It was good journalism to tell this unique story of our community.
There has already been a robust discussion online about Greg Burdo’s plight and what should be done, if anything. That is a good thing.
I believe good things will come from telling this story.
It’s a reminder that there are many that fall through the cracks, even if they insist they don’t need our help.