Why Veterans Don't Use All their Benefits
Originally published with Salute, Inc. - Veteran's Day 2014
There was once a time to be the Lone Sailor, or that Stoic Soldier, standing watch over your post and our country; for Veterans, that time has passed.
It's OK to grab hold of those hands reaching out to you.
It's been over 4 years since I was medically retired from the Navy after 8 years of service. Medically retired with an extra heap of VA benefits; and yet not many people know that about my discharge. I like to think I hide it well.
- I'm proud of my service (everyone knows this),
- I often find myself missing those years (some people know this), and
- I tend to feel guilty about not serving longer or that I'm using a lot of benefits (I don't talk about this).
It's not until the days when the pain is too much for me to go to work that I think I deserve my benefits. And yet no one has ever accused me not needing the benefits I have, not even the amputee holding the hospital door for me as I walk in unaided -