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Army And Marine Veteran Disabled In Fall Seeks Grants For Personal Vehicle

by Donald Jacobson
(Mesa, AZ, USA)

I am a 43-year-old male. I served in both the Army and Marine Corps.

I do not have kids. Well, I have my three cats and two dogs, one of which is now in training to be my personal service dog.

Over the years I have had many jobs, most of which have been in the construction field.

A year ago, I found my dream job. I work as a Veterans’ Assistant for my brothers and sisters at the East Valley Veterans Education Center.

Though this is a part-time job, it not only allows me to work helping my fellow veterans but it also in turn helps me.

I am also a part-time student working on my degree in Digital Media.

Disability Issues

In 1992, while conducting military training, I happened to fall from a 40-foot tower. I fractured my back in eight locations.

A year later I was honorable discharged with a 10% rating from the VA.

Over the years, I have dealt with continued back pain. However, I have had to ignore the pain and work in whatever job field I could work in, mainly construction.

Since I left the military I have had surgery to correct my breathing and help with my sleep apnea; continued back and knee pain; issues with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, clinical depression, and anxiety; 12% loss of use of my predominate hand; and most recently bi-polar disorder.

I am currently involved in claims with the VA and workers’ compensation. Both claims have been going on for over two years.

Financial Hardship

Due to medical issues in 2011, I spent most of my time in the hospital having surgeries and recovering. This lasted into April of 2012.

In the last two years, I have made a total of $13,000. I have been lucky to live in a friend’s back room for $200 a month.

I was on food stamps until November of 2012 and my current monthly food bill is averaging $225.

I make approximately $850 a month, with no financial assistance but my Pell grant for college.

I do not have transportation aside from walking and the city bus. I have a monthly non-veteran treatment that totals $200.

My dental, phone, transportation, personal health care, and pet care, along with the above costs, come to an average of $825 a month.

With my part-time job earnings of $850 and VA benefits of $127, subtract my costs and I am left with $152 a month.

Income Efforts

I was lucky to land this part-time job. I am so grateful they have worked with me to allow for all my medical appointments when other companies would not.

Due to all my medical issues, doctor’s appointments, and legal appointments for the workers’ comp matter, I have been unable to attain full-time employment.

I reached out regarding SSI and SSDI. I was told nothing could be done until after the workers’ comp claim, which is in its second year.

My family is unable to help me due to their own hardships.

Specific Needs

At this time I am seeking a grant of $10,000 to $16,000.

I would like to purchase outright a vehicle that would not only be safe for me but also my service dog.

My VA doctor prescribed the service dog to me and stated it would benefit me. Furthermore, they pay the first year’s insurance and all licensing fees.

I am seeking a vehicle because the temperatures reach 120°+ here in Arizona. With those temperatures, walking or riding city transportation would not benefit the service dog or me.

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