Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran Seeks Grant Money For Home Repairs
by Boyd Casteel
(Johnson CIty, TN, USA)
I am a Vietnam era veteran. I am not now nor was I ever a hero of any type. I am a simple USAF veteran. I did nothing heroic or saved anyone's life or anything of that nature.
I am at this late stage in life desperate for some help with home repair.
My wife and I have been married for 12 years, have no children, and have no way to repair our meager home.
On May 11, 2002, my wife and I were involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. The accident left both of us 100% disabled. My wife now resides in a wheelchair.
My ability to walk any distance is ultimately zero. My hips and legs give out on me after a very short distance making me have to find a chair to sit in or eventually fall down.
My wife on the other hand, had a crushed pelvis, broken left hip, and broken upper femur, broken knee and crushed left foot.
By the Grace of God, my wife lived through the accident, leaving her with multiple surgeries to give her the ability to at least sit in a wheelchair.
Now, she has been diagnosed as a 1200 diabetic, with high blood pressure.
Thanks to our collision with a drunk driver, our American Dream ended on May 11, 2002. Before that date, I think we actually had a piece of the American Dream, and were living quite well.
After the accident, the health of both of us went downhill fast. My blood pressure went completely out of control, and that I had 4 TIA (mini strokes).
I found out from my Doctor that my blood pressure was so high that I was on the verge of a stroke or a heart attack.
At that time I found out that both of my carotid arteries had to be operated on to be cleaned out, and the blockages gotten rid of.
Now, we live strictly on Disability income from Social Security, which as one knows, is most of the time, barely enough to get by on.
Because of our Disability Income, neither of us is allowed to work and make money... not that we could, I don't believe, but it would be nice to have a little extra income coming in.
Also, because of our limited income, I cannot afford the proper insurance for our home. I have just enough insurance to cover the outstanding loan if I should die, but I am unable to carry any type of home improvement insurance if we need repairs.
Because of the high winds and rain that we have had in our area of Tennessee, there have been tree limbs falling out of the trees around our home, and hitting our roof, cracking it and causing it to leak.
Now, when we get a rain, we have a leak in our bedroom and a leak in the bathroom.
Also, it has started to smell with a stench odor of mold. And if I understand correctly, mold is not a very healthy substance to inhale or be around.
I am hoping and praying that somewhere out there I will be allowed a grant to repair the roof of our home, and get rid of this terrible mold that is growing.
The roof problems, along with a few disability repairs are needed in the worst way here at home.
My wife and I have a very meager life. We do not own new cars or have anything new in our home. As a matter of fact we do not even own a couch to sit on.
Our only chair, one that a neighbor gave to us, even has tears in it. The beds we sleep in are broken and old and uncomfortable.
Underneath our home, animals have gotten under there and torn up some of the heating ducts that supply us with heat. God only knows how much money is wasted to heat the outside from the forest critters little adventure.
We buy all of our food and pay our bills on the third of the month when our Disability checks come in, and after that, we stay at home and watch TV.
Our stove has a mind of its own, and will turn itself on whenever it wants to. So, if we are lucky enough to leave the house we must cut our stove off at the fuse box so we don't burn our house down.
Our showers need to be enlarged, as my wife cannot shower easily because she is a large woman.
The inside of our home desperately needs to be updated for handicapped living.
I have nowhere else to seek help from. I am embarrassed to seek help like this but I must protect what little bit of a home that I have, because I have to take the best care of my wife that I possibly can.
Thank you for your time and consideration concerning this matter. I remain, respectfully, Boyd Casteel.