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Disability Grants For TBI and PTSD Disabled Marine Irving To Build Lawn Care Business

by Irving Booker
(Chesterfield, Virginia, USA)

I am a 32-year-old man with an awesome son and fiancée, who together, make up my world. We all live in Chesterfield, Virginia, with our dog.

I dedicated 10 years to the United States Marine Corps, where I served three tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Heavy Machine Gunner in the infantry.

Irving in the USMC
Irving in the USMC

Throughout my career, I've carried out an array of duties from a Combat Instructor at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia to an Environmental Compliance Office Manager at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Disability Issues

I can say that my worst enemy has been time. There wasn't one detailed incident that put me where I am today but a succession of instances that eventually caught up with me.

Merge this together with the misconception that many of those who serve have, especially those whose jobs pertain to combat arms field, and that is what is known as the "Superman complex."

Various occurrences of this have left me with an array of invisible damage. I suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in addition to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of combat operations.

I was classified as being legally deaf in one ear from the constant hazards that came along with my occupational specialty and now am fitted with a hearing aid.

I now go day by day, never knowing how it is going to turn out due to living with manic depression or the new bipolar disorder, in conjunction with the daily reoccurring migraines and erratic levels of energy.

In connection with my injuries, I have a 60% disability determination from the Veterans Administration and deemed permanently retired from military service.

This was only after going through the gruelling process of temporary retirement, which would include enduring numerous evaluations during this period.

Financial Hardship

Due to my injuries, as well as medications, I have a problematical time finding and sustaining employment.

There have been instances in which I've been told that I am overqualified for the position. I have also been asked a few times matters that by law are means of discrimination.

The worse was about if I would ever come into the establishment and start shooting random people. I walked out and haven't looked back.

The worse part about dealing with the injuries is that there is no real control. You don't know when you might have an episode or an occurrence, which makes it extremely difficult to even carry out the simple functions of the day.

You could feel fine one day and your next day could feel as if your entire life is crashing down on you and there is no escape.

Income Efforts

There have been silver linings throughout all of this in which I was fortunate to have been able to achieve work.

I can say that military service has made me quite versatile, as I have bounced from Juvenile Corrections to Auto Sales to even working in a restaurant.

At one point, I even had landed a government job that was only a dream but had to end when I had to choose showing up for working or honoring a mandated medical evaluation.

However; there is always that point in which just when I think things are looking up, there is something that puts you in that rut.

It's that instance where things become more complicated; sleep pattern gets disturbed, this result in issues at work that now has you start to second guess yourself and your abilities.

You fight to get back on the right path but it slips away little by little, all while trying to explain to your supervisors what you're going through.

If you're lucky, they might appreciate the forthcoming and work with you, but in most cases, they have not the slightest clue. This results in you leaving another place of employment.

I have at times, pawned various items to make ends meet.

There have been family members who have also assisted when needed.

Specific Needs

I am looking specifically for grants to establish a small Lawn Care business from home. Doing this will allow me to control the aspects of my life that deny me normal issues of employment, all the while rebuilding those traits that were dismantled as I was preparing to leave military service.

Business Idea

I am looking into creating a veteran-owned business. It would be a venture I can call my own and hopefully with growth, extend out to others who have to deal with similar disability obstacles.

I am looking for $30,000 to establish a foundation and create a functional setup: a trailer and mower, push lawnmower, weed eaters, edgers, hedge trimmers, blowers, rakes, shovels, saws for cutting trees at a height, etc.

Part of this would also allow me to become official as a means of obtaining the proper credentials to operate in such an entity.

I have already taken certain steps in realizing this aspiration. I've started just in a small area with people that I know or from word of mouth.

I've already started creating certain marketing outlines and pricing as well as operational segments of a business plan.

Within this business I want the opportunity to give back. With that, I have been discussing a partnership with Operation GreenCare. This is a nonprofit organization in which deployed service members or disabled veterans that meet the criteria can get lawn service free of charge.

I have already spoken to other lawn care professionals in the area that would be more than willing to offer a lawn care client or two to get me started.

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Nov 10, 2016
More sources
by: John Renaud

Thank you for your service in helping to protect our freedom. There are many other ways to help you, Governmentgrants.gov, disabledvets.gov, VA has resources for Getting grants, VFW,DAV and many others. You can post on giveme.com, Facebook, Twitter. if needed, give me a shout. Good Luck Sir

Nov 09, 2016
by: Ricardo Ching

Brother Irving first of all from the bottom of heart THANK YOU VERY MUCH for serving for this Country. Just continue to strive, pursue, persevere, and don't give up. Go for it brother all the way. Sincerely Ricardo Ching

Nov 09, 2016
The Workbook is next...
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hey Irving,

Congrats on getting your story published. You now have hands-on experience responding to precise instructions, the same you will encounter when applying for help of any kind.

With the publication of your story, you have earned the right to the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story as a springboard to getting the help you need.

Don Coggan

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