100 Percent Disabled OIF Vet Seeks Childcare And Home Down Payment
by Jason Smith
(Monterey, Tennessee, USA)
I am a 33-year-old man with a beautiful, loving wife named Brandy, and two handsome sons. Gaven is four years old, and Lucky is 14 months. They are my reason for waking up in the morning.
I am also very lucky to have both of my parents still living, although my mother and step-dad are disabled. I take care of them as much as I can, and try to be a good son, husband and father.
I was wounded overseas in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). I endured 23 blasts before being evacuated for injuries to my brain and left leg, among others.
I am currently considered 100% disabled, although if you add up all my injuries, it comes to more than that:
40% traumatic brain injury (TBI) with residual scar
10% tinnitus (hearing loss)
70% bipolar disorder/PTSD
10% tendonitis in left knee
10% tendonitis in right knee
10% tendonitis in left shoulder
It totals 150% disabled. Some days I can barely get out of bed.
We are currently living in a rundown little house that has been robbed twice. We cannot afford to move to a nicer house, because I am supporting myself, my wife and kids, and my parents.
I need to move closer to a VA facility so I can receive better health care treatment, because the VA will not pay for care at a civilian hospital.
I have started having heart problems from all the stress that I have been under, and currently have to wear a heart monitor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I live two and a half hours from the nearest VA facility, and it is very difficult for me to drive that far because of my knees. When I do go, my wife has to drive me.
With two kids it is hard for us to find a sitter during the hours of my scheduled appointments. My wife doesn't work because she has to take care of me and the boys.
I have attempted to finish college twice, in 2010 and 2011 to become a surgical tech, but was kicked out for medical reasons despite keeping a 4.0 GPA.
They deemed me unable to stand for any significant period of time, so the military refused to pay for a degree I wouldn't be able to use. Any normal, civilian job was insupportable because of my PTSD.
I am receiving VA retirement and Social Security, but it is only enough to pay my bills every month. We never have enough to put back, and we are always borrowing from friends, family and the bank, making it very hard to get ahead.
I am seeking a grant to put a down payment on a house for my family somewhere closer to a VA hospital so that I can get the care I need to be a better husband and father.
Also, we need to be somewhere with better childcare for my boys so my wife can work and do the things she loves to do.
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