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Army And Navy Veteran Seeks Help After Exhausting VA Resources

by Raymond Boyles
(Logan, Utah, USA)

I served in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army. I was injured in a very bad car wreck while on duty in Germany. I was a passenger in the car wreck. The wreck still gives me many nightmares and sleepless nights.

I suffer from a degenerative disk disorder in my neck. I also have a metal rod that supports my right leg. Both of my legs are in bad shape. The worse part is that I have never got over the mental problems suffered from looking at the dead people in the car wreck.

I had a good job when I finished the military, but lost the job, car, and apartment to a D.U.I. I am sorry for my behavior because there is no excuse; however I am constantly still trying to improve myself but without a veil. I drank so I would not have the nightmares.

I managed to quit drinking alcohol; however, I still have a hard time with false authority and understanding people in general. This causes problems at work.

I am currently in a PhD program, so I have managed to help myself along with veterans help, but the bills are crazy and I live paycheck to paycheck. I have had many weeks where all I get to eat is green beans.

I am not sure If I will get a job when the college is completed, but all I see in my future is that my pay will go to loans upon loans, and I will never be able to financially get out of debt.

I am requesting any advice for help. I have already utilized my G.I bill, and I have used chapter 30 and chapter 31. The V.A. told me that I completed my Voc Rehab program when I went on for my master’s degree. I do not see any more support in the future.

My current situation is that I receive a fellowship and V.A. benefits that amount to about $2000 a month. I received a $2000 loan from a friend to move here, but the problem is that I am still paying for the move from Pittsburgh to Utah, and after rent, utilities and food, there is nothing left during the first week of the month.

My fuel pump in my used car just went last month. The cost was $800 for the replacement. I do not know how much longer my car or I will run either. My credit is also bad from losing my job, car and apartment.

In summary, I feel that even if I make this journey, I do not see the benefit. I could use any advice that would offer support, hope and relief. I am not starving, but life sure is difficult to manage.

I feel ashamed that I wrote this letter, but I feel that this is a resource designed to help. I feel a grant would help me over the obstacle of financial burden and would allow me to see the future so that I may eventually help others in my situation. Thank You. Raymond Boyles.

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May 02, 2010
Thank You folks
by: Raymond Boyles

I wanted to thank you fro the responses. The suggestions were great, but unfortunately I had been through all of these.

I did have one concern although I had been through this before. I was told that I was off the rehabilitation list since I went on to my master's degree. I was never counseled on this decision, only told that I would be in a better position. I would like to be on Voc-Rehab for the purpose of finding a job.

Mar 10, 2010
Links Found
by: Katina

I did a preliminary search today and found the following information. I also called a couple of places in regard to your situation. What they recommended at one VA outreach center is to 1st contact student financial aid and ask about the student loan deferment and/or forbearance program. If you qualify, you may receive up to 12 months (waiver) to give you time in re-paying the loans. In some circumstances, it can be extended.

Additional Recommendations: Since you are still a college student on the educational track, it may be worth trying to get a teaching assistant position, or applying to the college of research for a grant/scholarship to do a project -- maybe finding information for disabled veterans would be something of interest?

We will continue searching for information so please check back from time to time.

Don't give up! There is a lot of help out there, and you've taken a very important step in finding it by posting your story here.

- Katina


Utah State Univeristy

Department of Workforce Services

Logan, Utah Navy/ Army Resources

Vetrans Benefits Clearinghouse, Inc.
Inspector General
Corporation for National Serivce
1201 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 8100
Washington, DC 20525


Utah Dept of Veterans Affairs: 326-2372
Toll Free: 1-800-894-9497
VA Regional Office: 1-800-827-1000
VA Medical Center: 1-800-613-4012
Local: (801) 582-1565
VA Education Line: 1-888-442-4551
VA Home Loans: 1-888-244-6711
DAV: (801) 326-2375
VFW: (801) 326-2385
American Legion: (801) 326-2380
Military Order PH (801) 326-2471
Veterans Cemetery (801) 254-9036
Veterans Nursing Home: (801) 584-1900
Transition Assistance: (801) 523-4937

550 Foothill Blvd. #202, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Toll Free (800) 894-9497
(801) 326-2372
Fax (801) 326-2369

Tuition Waiver for Purple Heart Recipients (PDF) Utah System for Higher Eduction Letter Regarding Purple Heart Recipient Waivers (PDF)

Veterans Administration Muskogee Regional Office
125 South Main Street
Muskogee, OK 74401
Phone: 800-827-1000
Fax: 918 781-7509

Mar 10, 2010
Searching for Help now
by: Katina

Dear Raymond,

My name is Katina and I read your story today. Thank you for serving your country in the Army and Navy, which is greatly appreciated. I wanted to let you know that I'm searching for grants and other assistance that you can apply for. It may take me three to four days to find organizations that could best serve your needs.

By posting your story here, it shows a lot of bravery, especially for a person who has worked all of his life and is still working hard earning a Masters degree. I applaud your efforts like so many who read your story.

Please know that you are an amazing individual, and that help is here for you. I will search until I find something that you can apply for. While there are no guarantees that the places I find for you to apply will be what your looking for, I can tell you that it is my pleasure to help people.

Back Injury/ Pain: It is too often that I hear about a person suffering with chronic pain. Pain can take over a person's life. I have done extensive research in this area alone, to find pain specialist who treat people for DDD: Degenerative Disc Disease, and Arthritis of the spine. While surgery is often not recommended as a method to treat or resolve chronic pain issues, there are numerous technologies that anesetionslis are using today, to help relive the pain. I have a few procedures and links to learn more about them below.

I will post leads to apply for assistance for financial assistance, home improvement grants, and others that I find. If you don't find the leads helpful, please contact us to let us know. I can then do another search and keep trying.

Until I find more information for you, what I would recommend is talking to the VA hospital nearest to you, let them know what problems you?re facing, (including) the issue of chronic pain, and ask them if they can provide you with more assistance. Sometimes, it is a matter of finding the right person to talk to.

You can also write a letter, (or copy/print) the letter you have posted here, and send it to the directory of VA assistance in your local area. Or where you went for help initially. It may take some time, but there is help available for you. We just have to find it!

Together, we can move the mountains in front of you.

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