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A Warriors Struggle

A look into struggles that so many of us face

Petition To Congress


Veterans across the country are not getting the help they need. The very system they fought to protect is using an outdated law to deny earned benefits to disabled veterans. I am one of those veterans, and I’ve started this petition to make sure that what is happening to me and many others is stopped.

Over the last couple years, the military has downsized. When it does this, it offers separation packages, aka money to help those who are leaving transition to their new civilian life. I received one of these packages, and was told to go to the VA hospital if I needed future medical care. I did, and was diagnosed as 70% disabled. But they told me I couldn’t receive disability benefits until I repaid my separation package.

After 11 years of service in the Marine Corps, two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a disability stemming from duty, I couldn’t believe this was happening. I discovered that this was written into federal law back in the 1990’s, during a time when major combat hadn’t been seen in decades and there weren’t many people being asked to separate from the military due to downsizing, and then later being classified by the VA as having service-related disabilities. The only way to get both benefits is through a waiver by one of the service branch secretaries, which is extremely rare and almost impossible.

It is time to get rid of a law that doesn’t do right by the women and men who have served their country. I’m calling on Congress to repeal the law that requires paying back, or offsetting, severance pay before receiving disability benefits.

Separation pay and VA Disability compensation are two completely different payments, offered to veterans for entirely different purposes. This misguided law is causing financial hardship for many of us, and such financial hardships are known to be a contributing factor in the spike in veteran suicides. It’s tough to admit it, but I was one of those people dealing with this financial difficulty, and there was a moment when suicide seemed like the answer.

I’m glad I didn’t do it. Instead, I’m working to get this law changed. This problem will only get bigger as more of our troops are asked to leave the service. We need as many voices as possible to speak up and get this law taken off the books. I hope you will help by signing this petition.

Recent Marine Corps Times article on the issue: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/veterans/2015/10/18/separation-pay-payback/73925870/

My Petition  – Sign Now

https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-stop-the-recouping-military-separation-pay-out-of-veteran-disability-compensation

Featured post

Unfamiliar Path


There are times in our life that we feel lost, alone and scared.

Everything around us comes crumbling down and we are stuck on an unfamiliar path.

 

We spend days, weeks and even years searching for the path we once had.

While we are lost, things come into our life that we wouldn’t expect.

 

Sometimes these things are good and other times they are bad.

Exhaustion consumes us as we filter through the life that was thrown at us.

 

We are weak and vulnerable.

One bad decision leads to another and before we know it, we are drowning in our own mess.

 

How do we survive and overcome such tragedy?

How did we get so lost and lose sight at what truly matters?

 

We must dig deep and fight our way back to the top.

The battle has just begun, but with the support of others we can overcome it.

 

One step, one obstacle and one day at a time.

We will be found and when that moment comes, don’t let it pass you by.

 

Even though we might be weak, we have to find our strength.

Don’t give up, don’t give in and don’t let the unfamiliar path swallow you whole.

 

Happiness lurks around the corner and each step is one step closer to success.

 

Finding My Purpose


Here is an update and a story of hope for those that don’t think it is possible..

About a year ago I was in a very dark place. I would isolate myself and tell myself I was a failure. I felt as if I was failing this transition to civilian and all I wanted was to be on Active duty again. 

I spent almost 12 years in service and I got involuntary separated for reaching service limitations. I could not pick up E-6 at all due to a DUI received at the beginning of my last contract. The DUI was bs and was thrown out of court but I did receive an adverse fitrep which haunted me for 4 years! Nothing I did could make up for the fit rep. Numerous accelerated fitreps and letter of recommendations were not enough for me to get promoted and stay in due to the large reduction in force. 

This hit me hard when I got out. I felt abandoned and worthless. Felt as if I lost my purpose. Went to the VA and did not want to accept what they were trying to tell me. Depression and PTSD, here are some meds….. No thank you. I tried to fight the battle alone and May 2015 I made a choice that changed my life forever. 

I told my wife I was going on a business trip but instead went to Vegas and spent our savings then went to Southern Cali to spend my last days because I had a plan to end my life far away from the people that know me and care for me. 

The day I was sitting on the ledge of the high rise hotel contemplating life and working up the courage to jump… Something came over me and told me to GET HELP. 

I have already came this far.. Spent all the money, racked up huge debt on the company credit card and set myself up to just disappear….. I did all the previous so it would make it much more difficult to change my mind and just go home. 

After hours of sitting on the ledge I did what I never wanted to do… Drove myself to the local VA in souther Cali and told them I needed help. 

I spent a week in the hospital and finally opened up about what was going on inside. I was a ticking time bomb that got help before the last tick. 

After losing my job, going through months of therapy and finding a new direction I can honestly say I turned my demons into Angels. 

What was supposed to be a bad thing was just what I needed to get the right kind of help. 

I am now in school, still go through regular mental health check ups. Actually have a savings again, feel much healthier, assist vets in similar situations and have a goal to be a Hollywood screen writer. 

Every day is not perfect but I have a purpose again. I accepted the help I needed to get back on track with my life. I lost many friends and family members to suicide and never thought I too would almost fall victim to the horrible notion. 

Brothers and Sisters we have a new battlefield and we need each other more than ever now. If you find yourself in that dark place open up to the right person or people so you can jump on a new path that is much more rewarding. 

It never goes completely away.. But that is why we have each other so we can pull one another up when we start to sink. If we don’t talk about it and no one knows we are broken then we purposely allow ourself to fight a battle alone and nothing good comes from fighting alone. 

There is much more to my story… Addiction, failure, financial struggles, bankruptcy, physical problems.. Etc.. I gave you the short summary version. 

We all have issues and if I can get back on the right track anyone can! Thanks for reading. 

Time to Run Away


I break my neck to please you, yet you ignore the pain that I endure. 

Day after day my buttons are pushed, yet you control my every move. 

Nothing is good enough for you, when did this begin? 

It wasn’t always this way, there was a time I felt the love in your heart. 

I hold on to those moments, hoping one day they will return. 

I’m passed the point of no return. My hope is dwindling every second that passes. 

I’m tired, sick, angry and disgusted with myself for allowing this to continue. 

My opportunity is soon and when that time comes I’m going to run! Run faster than ever before. 

I will not look back, but force myself to accept and enjoy a new life. 

This new life will have things that have long been forgotten. Life, love, happiness and comfort. 

I can do this, I will do this. Soon and very soon. 

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