Seattle, Washington (CNN) – The dinner crowd trickles in slowly at first, some taking time to play a little pool in a recreation area, others just wait patiently in line, or find a spot to sit and strike up a conversation.
On the street, Orion Center has a reputation for its pleasant and welcoming staff, and, as Kayla Wyatt puts it, a place to get a good "feed." And of late, there are many new faces among the familiar.
At a restaurant, that's a sign of progress. At a support organization for the young homeless - like Orion Center - it is a troubling sign of the times.
More troubling is to take an up-close look at Seattle's streets and parks after Orion Center shuts down for the day, especially as temperatures drop and the combination of rain and gusty winds makes for bone-chilling conditions.
"I broke the top of my femur, so with the plate and screws, now I'm actually, two months later, able to walk - do some walking on my own," Ballard told us. "Physical therapy is coming along very well."
Once the hip is back to full strength, Ballard will need knee surgery to repair ligament damage, but he shrugs and voices encouragement at his progress and smiles a confident smile when asked about his ultimate goal.
"Get back and fight," Ballard said without hesitation. "Return to duty."
Veterans Day traditionally has been set aside more to honor those who have served rather than those still serving. But eight-plus years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have created a huge class of combat veterans who still wear the uniform, many of them with two or three or more deployments under their belts and perhaps more in their futures.
(CNN) - If Barack Obama is betting on Nevada, he may find a pleasant payoff. A new poll suggests that the Democratic presidential candidate is widening his lead there.
That's contributing to an increase in territory for Obama in CNN's Electoral College Map. The map estimates what would occur if the election were held today, by reviewing state polls, voting trends, campaign visits and advertising.
In the Nevada survey - one of five CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation state polls released Thursday morning - 52 percent of likely voters say Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing John McCain. That seven-point lead is up from a five-point advantage Obama held in a poll taken one week ago.
Nevada narrowly voted for George W. Bush in the last two presidential contests.
"Obama is racking up support among blue collar voters in Nevada," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Two weeks ago, he had a six-point lead among people with no college degree. Now he has a 23-point lead over McCain among that group. If the unions are making a big push for Obama in Nevada, it seems to be working."