Education Debt Relief Grant Money For PTSD And OCD Disabled Army Veteran
by John Paul Jones
(Tucson, AZ, USA)
I am a 35-year-old first generation African/Spanish American U.S. Army Veteran.
I married a beautiful woman whose son I adopted along with a daughter I already had (all pre-deployment).
Prior to war I attended college with hopes for an Army or Air Force commission. I volunteered for the first wave of troops sent to Iraq in March 2003.
Along with many comrades, I was injured during our deployment. Some lost their lives.
I returned due to a neural disorder after a very troubling, grueling and rigorous tour of duty, heading right back to school as way to keep mind focused on growth.
Even after losing a child, my wife and I had three more children, and we both have completed our undergraduate degrees while doing so.
I have completed two Master Degrees while rehabilitating myself at my local Veterans Hospital.
I have been diagnosed with:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder and Paranoia Disorder
In addition, I have come to learn that over the past seven years I have slept 70% less than the average individual that sleeps seven hours a night. My sleep consists of 3 to 4 hours of broken rest.
I also have chronic restlessness in my legs, jitters, shaky hands, difficulty articulating thoughts and verbal language, speaking in public and I tend to sweat in crowded places.
I am service connected for PTSD and meniscus tears in my knees for which I received surgery.
I have reduced hearing in the right ear and lumbosacral strain in the middle to lower back. I have shunned surgery because I was told there could be complications that could make matters worse.
I also have blurred vision in right eye, continual headaches, hair loss, skin irritation, severe athlete’s foot and attention problems.
I realize that if I returned home alive from the war I would experience a variety of health issues both psychological and physiological. I am not unique, so I have relentlessly tried to return to being a good and contributing citizen.
During deployment, we experienced continual mortar attacks, improvised explosions, sniper attacks and a few suicide bomber attacks at check points.
Even Iraqi children were a danger as they tried to stick needles in our arms when we offered them water and MREs. I often replay our response to those phenomena.
Many soldiers and marines were injured due to equipment failure or crashes. The sight of American service men and women injured or fatally wounded tend to stay in my mind. Some we saved.
My physical injuries came from the rough terrains, the immediacy of force protection meaning the constant banging of the knees and heavy lifting required to expedite missions with hopes to eliminate further incidents.
My vision loss and hearing loss came from the constant loud noise of our equipment, weapons fire, sand storms, and moreover, mortar blast and the hot asphalt that on two specific occasions burned my scalp with residue getting into my eyes.
We were instructed to not to be complacent and expect certain levels of agony and to not require medical attention for every instance of discomfort.
My back and knees and head trauma came early on in April. I stayed in theatre with no medical attention until January the next year once returned from Continental U.S.A.
I currently have petitioned for a service connection increase as everything seems to be worsening. I am currently 70% service connected.
Being an effective member of society is a struggle for me. I sweat and cannot articulate my thoughts verbally for people to understand unless they're very patient.
Physically, I tend to hurt myself more, trying to do jobs that require heavy lifting or long term standing or walking.
I take a variety of medications to help with inflammation, clear thinking, depressive thoughts, sleep, compulsions, obsessions, PTSD symptomatology and headaches: Trazodone, Diflusinal, Respiradone, Clonazepam, Citalopram and several others
Without these medications, I tend to act out violently, uncontrollably and unnecessarily. I have always known myself to be a good person and purposefully practiced patience and helping people as if remotely controlled by God.
As a result of this war it seems, I cannot serve people in the face-to-face fashion I'd truly like to. I cannot work, operate a vehicle or be as good a husband or father as I academically have been trained to be, and intuitively know I can be.
Since I have not been able to find employment that could best maximize my competencies, I have aimed to continue educating myself.
Now my financial hardships are blocking me from succeeding in life.
Medications have been inconclusive as to whether they're helping or hurting me, but with school and therapy, I feel there is a path to either rehabilitating myself or leaving something for the future should I die along the way.
I have aimed to continue school pursuing a PhD. If I could have it my way, I would have commissioned in the Navy or Army doing something, anything relative to security intelligence.
The military discharged me due to health complications from the war. I want to continue to do great things not only for my country, but also for the humankind.
Every word spoken in my household to my wife and kids is in tribute to them becoming great people every time they leave the home.
I aim to conduct research and therefore draft publications, books, seminars and teachings of my ideas, theories and philosophies as to how to enhance the human spirit in doing great things for each other, awhile remaining vigilant towards the forces who continue to try to stop the prevalence of harmony and freedom.
I have a couple of Masters Degrees now, but would best accomplish my goal by continuing my education.
I had VA financial help but it has ended. I now only have a service compensation pension that's not enough to go to school, raise a family and manage a financial schedule.
My struggle surrounds affording school, especially the tuition in which I now owe in arrears. I have no means to repay this debt and cannot move forward until I do.
I am hoping to find financial assistance by way of grants, loan, benefits or investment. I would ask that anyone interested in investing in me, I am a loyalist, with true leadership skills.
I have demonstrated work ethic skills that are not limited to working under extreme pressure (life and death) all the while remaining pragmatic and focused.
Although involved in saving many lives in the theatre of war, I have never asked for medals or asked to be petitioned for one. I share this with you so that you may sample my work ethic to the extent that I aim to fulfill the mission and best interest of profitability and corporate social responsibility.
I have managed to accomplish an MBA and MS in MIS at a top worldwide college (Eller MIS). I currently am seeking a PhD in interdisciplinary studies, and currently enrolled in the School of Government and Public Policy.
I ran out of VA benefits to continue school, and have not been able to find work that suits me. With the generosity of those who would grant financial assistance to me, I would back pay the tuition that I now owe the University of Arizona.
My current struggle is that I cannot move forward with school because of this debt. Even if I stopped school and entered the work force, I would still owe my school this money.
My desire is to continue school because I believe what I am working on can truly contribute to the future of not only our countries growth and prosperity but also for humankind.
My needs then are for a grant of $11,000 for my past tuition due now and also for my spring 2012 tuition due now. I owe $5500 to the University of Arizona, and $5500 to the Outreach College at the University of Arizona.