''Thanks' Is Not Enough'

The VFW's Unmet Needs program was a simple process and helped Army veteran Barry Reaves pay rent

Like his father, veteran Barry Reaves, 45, joined the Army because he wanted to serve his country.

Throughout his 24 years of service, he was deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Germany. The Dorchester, Massachusetts, native and father of two, Isabella, 9, and Benjamin, 12, retired as a Sergeant First Class.

Army Veteran Barry Reaves
Army veteran and Unmet Needs Recipient Barry Reaves
Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress and Bipolar Disorder, Reaves researched agencies providing veteran assistance and came across the VFW’s Unmet Needs program. He decided to apply and was relieved by the simple process.

“I was surprised how easy it was and how quickly it went,” he said. “I wish more agencies were similar.”

The aid helped Reaves pay his rent.

“I can’t say how much it meant to me. I was really in a tough spot and was possibly going to lose my place,” he explained. “This allowed me to stabilize my home life.”

To anyone considering donating to the VFW, Reaves insists, “it’s a worthwhile investment.”

“Thank you for filling in the gap for veterans,” he said. “Many of us are trying to figure out things on our own, and many times, we feel alone. ‘Thanks’ is not enough for an agency that really stands by us and supports us.” 

It is important to Reaves that people understand how common his situation is among veterans.

“I hope people look beyond this story to understand the deeper truth. Many veterans need more agencies like the VFW,” he said. “Without that support, the needs of countless veterans — and those of their families — will go unaddressed.”

“The VFW goes beyond just talking about helping,” said Reaves. “It puts action to words.”

Learn more about the VFW’s Unmet Needs program