Emotion Disabled USAF Vet Seeks Financial Aid To Move Closer To VA Center
by Dennis Saam
(Oregon, IL, USA)
I have lived the American Dream
My name is Dennis Saam, and I currently live in Oregon, IL. I am 57 years old. I grew up in a small town about 12 miles from where I live now.
As I child I wanted to be a truck driver, fireman, mechanic and soldier and I wanted to design things.
I graduated high school and did a stint in the Air Force.
I got an Associates Degree in Agricultural Mechanics. I was a certified master mechanic on heavy-duty trucks.
I have been a firefighter/EMT.
I have driven trucks over the road and have several million miles under my belt.
I own a small company where I design houses and draw blue prints.
I have pursued all of my childhood dreams.
I have three grown children and two grandchildren that I am very proud of. I have been married to my current wife Karis for 6 years.
I was asked once how long I have suffered from mental illness. I have never suffered at all; I have coped with it all my life. It has been a struggle, but I have been very functional.
When I was a child, school was very hard for me. We did not have labels for all the learning disabilities we have now. I was just a BAD boy, and was punished accordingly, or ignored.
I got through school because I had parents that would not allow me to quit.
I went into the Air Force right out of high school to get out of the small town where I grew up. At 11 months and 27 days later I was discharged, because I had an Immature Personality Disorder. What kid at 18 doesn't? I did get an honorable discharge, and I use my benefits.
My emotions have given me a hard time all my life. I've been in mental health facilities and counseling, and on medication most of my adult life.
I have high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, depression and anxiety. I have recently been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.
It is small and not a problem at this time. I have been getting headaches and suffering from confusion, and we are trying to figure that out now.
My financial hardship has to do with not being able to hold down a job for a long period of time.
I have gone from job to job and lived all my life from paycheck to paycheck.
In addition, I have never been diligent about saving. Now that I need a cash influx to move, it is not there.
I am 2-1/2 hours from the VA Medical Center (Hospital) that I use, and 45 minutes from the VA clinic. I need to be closer to a VA Hospital.
Although my parents taught me a strong work ethic, my problem was holding on to jobs. I never had a hard time finding jobs until I became to disabled to do hard work.
I have been on Social Security Disability off and on since 1992. I get a check every month that is for what I paid in over the years.
I was declared 100% non-service-connected disabled in 1995, but made too much on my social security to draw a VA pension. I last worked full time in March of 2011.
I am looking for a grant or donation to help my wife quit her job as an over the road truck driver, and become my primary caregiver.
We are also trying to get a grant to help us move to the Anchorage, Alaska Area, and set up housekeeping there. My wife is originally from there, and I want to move her home in case anything would happen to me. Also we would be within 1/2 hour of the Anchorage VA Medical Center.
Thank you for listening to my story.