I was asked to say a prayer as we opened the meeting, and I felt a little off with my voice. I chalked it up to being tired. My health rapidly declined from that night and then stabilized about three months afterwards. Well, you know the rest of the story.
I had contemplated trying to get my rating changed, but I struggled with the decision to ask for the VA to review my case. There are so many others out there that are far worse off than me, and to be honest, the prospects of going through the VA system was overwhelming and daunting. I had entered a period of depression and I was seriously deflated. It has been a long, tough season for me. I went from being one of the top 15 enlisted leaders in the Department of Defense, the vice president of a small defense contracting business, and vice president of the Air Commando Association to someone who couldn’t communicate well, my physicality diminished, and my emotional state was simply not good. I was not doing well. If not for my faith and Stacey’s strong, patient love, I have no idea where I would be…I just know it would not be good.
I had talked with you, Brother, about POVAT’s mission, and I was honored and humbled when you referred me to your team to review and ultimately take on my case. You and your team treated me and Stacey like we were your #1 priority. To that point, I was sitting in my office the next business day after the intake session when Scott Zastrow came strolling into my office. He treated me like we were long-time, great friends…like family, really…as he laid out POVAT’s methodology in clear, easy to understand terms. He was a total blessing to me and Stacey. Two short meetings later and I had an evaluation appointment set.
The eval occurred on a Wednesday and two days later the following Friday, you called me with the VA’s decision to award me 100% T&P. My goodness, it was like a 2-ton weight had been lifted off me. I am indebted to the POVAT professionals for the service they provided me and my family. As I stated earlier in this long dissertation, this is not about the money, this is about the benefits this rating will provide my family now and into the future should something happen to me.
I am deeply proud, honored, and humbled that POVAT took on my case and prevailed to get me this award. Your mission and vision will continue to breathe faith into many veterans and their families for generations to come.
Please let me know if I can do anything to help POVAT and the incredible team who add their blood, sweat, and tears to the mix and help America’s veterans get the benefits they have earned and deserve.