VFW Grant Recipient Hopes to Give Back

The help allowed him to focus on improving his health

Derek Dosedel was raised in Germany as a self-proclaimed “Army brat.” It was only natural that he would join as soon as he could.

“I was in 14 years and deployed all over the Middle East. I came back with more injuries than I could imagine, the most serious being to my spinal cord,” says Dosedel. “I am in constant pain from a severely pinched nerve, stomach issues, bad knees and herniated disks.”VFW Grant Recipient Hopes to Give Back

Dosedel also deals with PTSD, which causes him depression and anxiety. On top of that, he suffered brain trauma that lead to short-term memory loss. Since Dosedel retired from the Army, VFW Post 950 Commander Mike McLaughlin out of Mankato, Minn., has helped him immensely.

“Mike has been there for me since before I got home. He told me about the VFW Unmet Needs grant and helped me apply. I hadn’t found a job yet and needed to get my car back in running condition,” said Dosedel. 

Dosedel was awarded the grant and used it to get new tires and a battery for his car. He also bought some groceries. Now, he’s focused on improving his health and maintaining his job as a General Clerk II.

“Sometimes, I spend the whole day at the VA hospital. It’s not the most compatible schedule when I want to give my all at work, but it’s what I have to do,” said Dosedel.

As a current member, Dosedel is a huge advocate for the VFW’s work. One day, he hopes to give back to the VFW and help other veterans in need. To him, this support means the world.

“The VFW is very near and dear to my heart. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be. People who support the VFW should know they do so much for veterans and service members, when we’re deployed and after we get home,” said Dosedel.

The VFW 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, visit www.vfw.org/UnmetNeeds

Photo caption: VFW Unmet Needs grant recipient Derek Dosedel.