Disabled Vietnam Veteran Seeks Accessible Minivan Grant
by Peggy Jefcoat
(Largo, FL, USA)
I am a Vietnam era Veteran who is disabled. I have been on Social Security Disability since 1991.
This is the result of the sexual trauma I experienced while in the service, causing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.
I applied for compensation for the trauma and was denied. When I tried to reapply I experienced more trauma in trying to write the details of my experience and gave up.
I was unaware that I was eligible for medical care at the VA. It was not until 1996 that I was told about the medical care given by the VA, which I promptly accessed.
In 2007 I was rated 20% service connected, for a hearing impairment due to my time in service and I now wear hearing aids in both ears.
I commuted back and forth to the VA Hospital in my own vehicle. In August 2008 I had surgery at the local VA Hospital for compression fractures in my back.
The surgery went fine, but as I was recovering it turned out that there was a piece of bone that had come loose and was pressing up against my spinal column, causing extreme pain.
I was given a body cast to wear, which I did. As a result of wearing the body cast, my right hip and leg have suffered nerve damage apparently and hurt constantly.
Walking aggravates the pain and I now use a cane, due to taking falls as I am walking.
In March of 2009, my vehicle quit on me, and my only option for transportation was the local city bus. I do not have the money to buy a new or used car.
My sole income is the Disability pay I receive. I have contacted a myriad of organizations that help veterans and their representatives unanimously tell me there is no organization to help a disabled veteran obtain a vehicle.
If there is any way that I can have some help in acquiring a new or used vehicle, preferably a van, I would be most grateful.
Right now, it takes me an hour and a half to get to the VA Hospital and I have to transfer between two busses, with a lengthy walk between the stops.
I am basically cut off from my church, my support group, and classes I was attending by having no car.
I prefer a van because it puts me up in a higher position to better see around me. I have never had a ticket and appreciate the help I've had in being able to see/hear.