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Brain Injury And PTSD Disabled Veteran Seeks Grant Money For Home Upgrade

by Odus
(San Antonio, TX, USA)

My name is Odus Whitaker and I am 42 years old. I will be happily married for 20 years on May 3, 2013.

I have two great kids: Sarah, 20 and Michael 17. I was in the Army, active duty, from 1988 to 1992 and I served in Combat during Desert Storm as a forward observer/fire support specialist.

I completed Airborne school in December 1988 and I lived in Hanau, Germany for two years.

Disability Issues

On May 28, 2002 I suffered a brain aneurism that left me totally disabled and on Social Security.

I applied for VA benefits in 2004 for my brain injury and I am still fighting for those benefits to this day. In 2011 I was granted a 50% disability rating from the VA for PTSD.

I struggle with both of my disabilities daily and I have not been able to work since my aneurism in 2002 nor will I ever be able to.

I go to a VA clinic once a month to see a VA Psychiatrist to help me with my PTSD issues.

Financial Hardship

I had been working as a lead computer technician at USAA making a decent salary before my brain injury.

I had just purchased a new home less than a year before my brain injury and now I struggle to keep up with my mortgage payments because I had a significant drop in my earnings when I had to go on Social Security.

If I ever get to 100% on my VA disability rating I will be much better off because of the added income plus all the benefits for my wife and kids.

My PTSD is now so bad that I rarely go anywhere... I spend most of my time at home.

Earning Efforts

After my brain injury I immediately wanted to return to work, but it was explained to me that my injuries were too severe to ever allow that.

I have short-term memory issues where I forget stuff all of the time and I have motor skill problems on the left side of my body that cause me to stagger when I walk. I have horrible motor skill issues with my left hand which prevents me from using it most of the time.

Since my brain injury my PTSD has also become extremely debilitating. I have never attempted to apply for grants before because I did not know that I had that option.

Specific Needs

I would love to be able to get a grant to fix my front yard and back yard. Because of my balance issues and my PTSD I rarely go outside to water my yard.

My front yard and back yard are now mostly dirt and I'm about to get fined by my HOA if I do not plant new grass.

I would love to get a grant to give me the finances to put in new grass as well as a sprinkler system so I don't kill the grass when I can't go outside to water it.

If there are funds left over I would also love to put a pool in so I can get some exercise in at night and so my wife and kids can have some sort of entertainment since they are always stuck here at home with me. Thank you.

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Oct 04, 2012
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Budgets are not bigger in Texas
by: Ken

Hi Odus,

Sorry to hear you are going through such a rough time. It's something you just don't think that would happen to you, but statistics are that one in ten people have had some type of brain injury. Those odds are pretty bad. So when you see a kid riding a bike without a helmet, warn of the dangers, because it's a time bomb waiting to go off!

I found a group of people that may be of some help to you. They have been around for a few years and can answer a lot of questions you probably need answers to you. You can find them here:

http://www.alamoheadinjury.org/

If they can't answer your questions, they probably know who can. It's quite upsetting that when injuries like this happen the governments just don't have a budget to get people over the hump!

I hope you find this of some help, even if it is just for some outside support other than family.

Take care,
Ken

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