“Red Tails” actor Nate Parker impressed
by Piquette Square for Veterans
"The veterans at Piquette are our true heroes,” Parker said. “I was deeply impressed by Piquette. It is a first-class residential facility that honors our veterans in a caring and dignified environment."
Red Tails tells the story of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. Parker plays one of the fighter pilots in the all-black World War II squad. The role inspired him to visit Piquette, accompanied by Miles Perkins, Director of Marketing and Communications at Lucasfilm. Parker learned about Piquette from John Graves, who heads a public relations firm in Detroit.
Among the veterans that Parker met at Piquette was Marcus Cobb. Parker presented Cobb with a special Tuskegee Airmen pin. Cobb invited Parker to see his apartment and explained how being homeless left him feeling hopeless and useless, until he arrived at Piquette.
“Now I am able to move forward because I have goals and expectations,” Cobb said. “The programs here really work, but you have to have commitment and determination.”
Support staff at Piquette have helped Cobb enroll in school, maintain his sobriety, and work toward becoming a peer counselor.
Parker spoke to about ten Piquette veterans during his hour visit.
“It was hard to tell who was more star struck – Nate by meeting men and women who served our country and to whom he expressed a sentiment of indebtedness, or the veterans who were familiar with Nate’s work,” said Bob O’Brien, vice president for development at Southwest Solutions, who helped conduct the tour.
Parker signed a movie poster for “Red Tails” that will later hang at Piquette. In addition, a DVD of the film will be sent to Piquette, as soon as it is available.
Piquette Square provides housing and support services to 150 formerly homeless veterans. It is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country, and it has become a national model of helping veterans rebuild their lives.