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Grant Money To Help Retired Army Veteran Work In Media Blasting Business

by Sean Holmgren
( Elgin, Oklahoma, USA)

I am a 44-year-old male who is a retired Army vet. I have been retired for four years and married for 22 years. I have two daughters.

The oldest is a junior at Oklahoma State majoring in English and preparing to become a teacher. The youngest is a junior in high school. She's a star athlete in volleyball and basketball and hopes to be recruited by Kansas State for volleyball.


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Disability Issues

I have a 100% total and permanent VA disability rating for chronic depression, PTSD and TBI and various other minor physical disabilities. I suffered these injuries serving on active duty while deployed during OIF in 2003.

My diagnosis of PTSD has progressively got worse over the past 10 years and my rating increased from 50% to 70% in 2013.

I am currently taking four different medications for: depression, sleep disorders, anger, aggression and chronic joint pain.

My TBI condition affects my short-term memory. It's hard for me to retain new information without the aid of visual and audible constant reminders, so I use notes and recording devices to help.

I have sleep disorders and sleep apnea and have to use a CPAP machine at night in order to sleep. Because of my wartime experiences though, I very seldom get a restful nights sleep.

Not getting enough sleep affects my daily routine in negative ways. I feel tired all the time. I have attention and concentration problems and cannot function well in stressful situations.

My conditions of TBI, depression and sleep apnea are manageable with medication. I have a difficult time though with my PTSD/anger and aggression. They're difficult to control in large crowds or around things that resemble conditions or events that revive wartime memories.

My wife has Type 1 diabetes and is on a diabetic pump. I am always stressed because I am constantly worried about her insulin dependencies and if she is eating the way she is supposed to.

My youngest daughter has been diagnosed with Irlen syndrome, which is a learning disability that affects the way she is able to read. I don't understand the syndrome and I worry about her getting help when she applies for higher education.

Financial Hardship

I am currently employed and earning enough to get by but my therapist and psychologist say I will only get worse and my employment will suffer. They say it is due to my current field of employment, which is working with soldiers helping them prepare for conflict.

I am able to work and want to, but due to my current condition, if I want to get better, or not any worse, I am recommended to seek other forms of employment.

Income Efforts

I am currently employed in a field that is deteriorating my mental health at a rapid rate. The best work condition for me is to be independent and in a field that is not in an area that is a constant reminder of my active duty experiences.

I have been denied SSI and SSDI because of my current employment status. I can qualify for SSDI if I am unable to work for a period of 12 months or more, but I will not be able to afford to support myself, wife and children.

Specific Needs

I am seeking grants in order start a media blasting and classic car restoration business. Over years of therapy, my doctor and I have discovered that working on cars seems to be an outlet for my stress. Because it is an activity that I love to do, my therapist suggests that I should seek employment is this field.

I want to start a media blast company because I already have the skills necessary to do this while I go to a technical or vocational school to learn restoration to expand the business to incorporate a full service auto body business.

I have the means (monetarily) to go to school but not to subsidize my current income if I stop working to go to school.

Business Idea

The media blast business has many commercial and industrial applications such as paint, rust and grime removal used in the automotive industry. Media blasting is necessary to clean a multitude of surfaces like metals, concrete, brick glass, wood and plastics as a tool to prepare for repairs, modifications, fabrications and construction.

It is the beginning stage for most jobs that require a clean and bare surface before repair, fabrication or painting can begin. Most auto body shops or metal fabrication business rely on media blasting for the majority of their projects but do not have the means to accomplish this in shop so they have to outsource this work.

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