“Place of Angels,” a Jeff-recommended play written by Vietnam veteran Bob Adams, will be performed at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage at 7:00 p.m. on Mon., May 21, 2012 in a special presentation to benefit the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans at 119 West Street in Wheaton.
Featuring veteran actor Jeff Still, “Place of Angels” is an autobiographical account of Adams’ experience as a Navy corpsman during the Vietnam War as he sought to care for wounded Marines amid a conflict that was both horrifying and exasperating. Tickets for the performance are $50 and may be purchased by calling the McAninch Arts Center box office at 630-942-4000 or online at www.atthemac.org.
“Place of Angels,” which debuted at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theater in 2000, is filled with the vivid details and complex relationships that only first-hand experiences can offer. In Adams’ case, he left for Vietnam in 1968 as a skinny 20-year-old from south suburban Oak Lawn, blind in one eye -- and returned home a little more than a year later with a host of substance abuse issues. If it wasn’t for his mother taking him in when he couldn’t pay his rent, he might have ended up homeless.
“That’s what war does to you,” said Adams. “That’s what combat can do. One out of every three homeless people in the United States has put on a uniform and served this country,” he added. “But there’s help out there. There’s hope.”
Adams sought help for his addictions, eventually going back to college and earning a master’s degree in social work. Later he opened a private practice where he counseled veterans, police officers, firefighters and others who had experienced traumatic situations. In 2007, Adams co-founded the Midwest Shelter For Homeless Veterans, which recently dedicated a second facility that will offer affordable housing to qualified veterans.
Located in downtown Wheaton, MSHV is a transitional housing program that provides counseling, access to health care and educational and job-training services to U.S. veterans of any era to help them out of homelessness and back to useful, productive lives. People interested in making a donation, volunteering or learning more about the shelter can visit www.helpaveteran.org or call 630-871-VETS (8387).