VFW Unmet Needs Grant Provides Veteran With Freedom to Focus on Health
TBI and PTSD made transition nearly impossible
March 03, 2016
After five combat tours and nearly 12 years with the Marine Corps, Sergeant Dustin Ellison
deserved a smooth transition back into civilian life. However, suffering from
the post-war effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and severe PTSD made
that change nearly impossible.
[Dustin’s discharge date] would be the happiest day since he came home from
service … I was wrong,” explained Heather Boyd, Dustin’s sister. “It was 100
[times] harder after war. It breaks my heart to watch my brother go through
life like a ghost carrying guilt from serving for his country.”
hoped Dustin’s struggles would end after being accepted into a 12-week program specifically
designed to treat military-related TBI and PTSD. But, when the severity of his
condition and medical complications requiring surgery unexpectedly extended
Dustin’s treatment, Heather feared her brother would leave the program if he
was unable to keep up on his bills.
learning about the VFW’s Unmet Needs program during a wounded warrior PTSD
focus group, Heather reached out to the VFW for help. An Unmet Needs grant came
through just in time, providing Dustin and his family with a much needed
personally had depleted the money in my bank account … this was not only a
relief for myself, but it allowed him the opportunity to focus on treatment and
not stress about his lack of income,” said Heather.
an Unmet Needs grant provided the assistance Dustin needed to stay current on
his bills, and more importantly, provided him the freedom to focus on his
health – culminating with his graduation in January.
explained that while Dustin still has work to do and will likely face daily struggles
for the rest of his life, thanks to the VFW Unmet Needs program, he’s
functioning better than ever.
Unmet Needs program assists service members and veterans who have been deployed
in the last six years and have run into unexpected financial difficulties as a
result of deployment or other military-related activity. To learn more about
VFW Unmet Needs program or to apply, click here.
Photo courtesy of Vern via Flickr Creative Commons.
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