Never Leave a Brother Behind
Today’s “Case of the Week” comes from our corporate headquarters in Liberty twp., Youngstown Ohio as told by Teri Ely, our Executive Director.
I was recently contacted by a VA Caseworker about a veteran that she had been working with for quite a while. This veteran served in Germany and Italy with the Security Police. He is now suffering from PTS, anxiety, and depression. On top of that, he had a stroke. He was in a nursing home for rehab from the stroke. The Caseworker and other agencies were able to help him get moved into an assisted living facility. Her concern is that now her work with him is completed. 
He stays at his apartment most of the time due to his disabilities, he has no family, no friends. He is totally alone. She called me to ask if we knew of other veterans that would send him a card once in a while. I told some of our Veterans’ Outreach team about this veteran and they immediately said they would be contacting him, visiting him, and even spreading it to other veterans to join in. I was so touched by the quickness of their response, they didn’t even think about it. It was automatic to help a brother veteran because they never leave a brother behind.

Kentucky Office Helps a Vet in Need

Today’s Case of the Week comes from our Grayson, KY office. Written by our Regional Manager, Brandon Clark.
A couple weeks ago a veteran approached me to see if Veterans’ Outreach could possibly help his daughter and son-in-law who is a veteran with their electric bill. They had a past due balance of $1291.60, and a disconnect date coming very soon. The veteran said he hated to ask but was worried his daughter and grandchildren would have to go without electric.
After discussing with Bob Julian to see if we had the funds to possibly assist them, I contacted Kentucky Power to see what options were available. After discussing with Kentucky Power, a payment plan could be set up if a $200 payment was made right then and then another $200 to be received in the next 5 business days.
A $200 payment was made at this time by another source and then I advised Kentucky Power that Veterans’ Outreach was pledging the other $200 which they would receive in the next few days.
With the $400 total being paid to Kentucky Power they did not disconnect the power and set the couple up on a payment plan. Were they split the remaining balance up over a 6-month period? Which was roughly $168 a month. We are so happy we could keep the lights on for this veteran family in need.
Disabled Iraq Veteran Sees Brighter Future
This case of the week comes from our Sarasota, FL office.

A Cocoa FL-based veteran was recently referred to us by his VA caseworker. This veteran is 100% disabled from an IED he encountered in Iraq. He was in the Army for over 17 years and survived 15 combat caused injuries in his multiple deployments. Unfortunately, he has fallen on difficult times and asked for help on his utility bill. We have guaranteed the overdue portion and his power will stay on – he said “God Bless You” three times! So glad we could help!

Veteran Finds Hope After Great Tragedy
This case of the week comes from our Sarasota, FL office.
We were contacted last week by a veteran with a number of bills he had fallen behind on. He had had a heart attack, hospitalized and in a coma. 
When he came out, the staff told him that his son, who had tried to help his father, had collapsed and died of a heart attack shortly after his father’s hospitalization. Then they had to tell him that his daughter found her mother, his wife, dead on the floor of their bedroom. 
He had tried to commit suicide but his remaining family talked him out of it, and he is trying to resurrect a new life by making arrangements on his bills – on which he had fallen behind, naturally enough. We were able to step in and help him out with some resolutions.
Unfortunate Accident While Fundraising
This case of the week comes from our Hartselle, AL office.
Last week when at a local store one of our representatives was approached by a nice lady who decided to donate to Veterans’ Outreach. Upon putting her donation in the donation canister she accidentally got her finger stuck in the jar!
Our representative pushed down on the lid, but to no avail, her finger was hopelessly stuck. Her very big, strong boyfriend came to the rescue and pressed with two hands on top of the jar and got her finger free. Unfortunately, this process cracked the lid, but fortunately having her finger free she was able to give our rep a $5.00 Walmart gift card. 
We are certainly glad that there are no hard feelings on her part and very happy that her finger was none the worse for wear.
Suicide is Never the Answer
This case of the week comes from our Sarasota, FL office.
It was probably in February or March, I received a phone call from a guy ranting and raving that no one cares about Veterans and no one will help me and I am just going to take my life. I tried to give him the phone number for the VA Suicide Hotline and he ranted that no one would help him there. I did tell him that I would listen to him and would try to help. He proceeded to tell me that I didn’t care either and before I could say “I did care he hung up on me”. I had his phone number and called him back. It went to voicemail so I gave him my name and phone number at Veterans’ Outreach and told him to call me before he took his life. I was so upset for the rest of the day. I even tried to call him that evening on my cell phone and told him I would really like to talk to him.
The next day, Ted called not ranting anymore. The first thing I told him I was so glad that he called me back and that I cared about him. He apologized for the ranting but he was still considering taking his life. I asked Ted why do you want to take your life, what is so bad that you don’t want to continue to live. I again told him that I cared and I had all day to listen to him that my work would wait.
Ted went on to say that he needed help with a rent application of $50.00. I told him we could probably help him with that. (In which, we didn’t end up helping him as he received the money from someone else).
I said, “Not having money to pay your rent is why you’re going to take your life?”
 He started to choke up and said No, you don’t understand. I said “Tell me what’s going on and I will try to help or find help for you” He proceeded to tell me that he was in the Marines and getting ready to go to Germany and they would be going between Germany and Kabul for maneuvers. He was in a motorcycle accident here in the states 2 weeks before he was to leave for Germany. He didn’t get hurt other than some scrapes and bruises, but the Marines thought he had might have a concussion and decided he couldn’t go to Germany and sent his friend instead. His friend was married and had 2 young children. His other friend Matt was going as well. On one of the maneuvers, they did to Kabul his friend with the 2 children was killed and Matt lost his arm during the attack. I then asked him if he had contacted Matt since he was hurt and was sent back to the states? He said “No I feel so guilty, I can’t talk to him”
I proceeded to tell him about my brother-in-law being killed in Vietnam and how hard it was for us as it was as though we never had any closure. I told him one day I was on the Vietnam Wall web page and I saw someone had commented that he was with Tom the day he was killed in Vietnam. This was 40 years later. He left his name and what town he was from. I immediately googled him and found his name along with a phone number. That night my husband called the phone number and told him that he was Tom’s brother and would he talk to him? They ended up talking for quite a while. Over a couple of months, they made arrangements for Carl to come to Indiana and meet Tom’s family. What a blessed day to hear the stories that he told about Tom while he was in Vietnam. I then asked Ted again why don’t you try to find Matt and maybe get some closure for yourself. In the meantime, he gave me Matt’s name and some info about him. A few hours later Ted, called me back. Thanking me over and over how, I had saved his life, by taking the time to listen and talk to him and encouraging him to find Matt. He had found Matt and they had talked for over an hour about everything. Since then I have stayed in touch with Ted. He did call earlier this month and wish me a “Merry Christmas and told me he wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas if I had didn’t take the time to talk to him”. It was all I could do not to cry.
We did help Ted with his electric bill this month. He felt bad for asking, but his rent amount he pays the Veterans housing had been incorrect and they took out extra money. He is now working full time at Aldi’s grocery store and hoping to move to the Sarasota area as his younger daughter lives here. I am going to try and see if I can make arrangements to meet him after the New Year.