You may remember this
story about Sgt. Al Brenner who like many of our wounded warriors, find themselves
in a hard place only to have some turn to suicide. I contacted the warrior
after I heard of his story and as an update, he now has a home! Al has broken
the code on the specifics in making a difference and wants to tell the world. I
wonder why the government & country he went to war for isn’t listening to
him? This is one Marine making a difference and he tells us how below.
I asked Al, “How can I help your efforts?”
It’s an extremely long story but I
can give you the bare minimum details so you kinda have an idea of what i went
through. This email is to show that there are so many issues with the system,
one that was bad decades ago and has improved. Noticed how I said improved, not
I started my terminal leave the end
of September of last year. Because I understood how the system worked as far as
pay was concerned I knew that finding a place to rent or own was completely out
of the question. Here is problem number one. Gap in pay we are immediately set
up for failure because the day of discharge our active pay ends and if all goes
well we start our disability pay 2 months later. My plan was to "live in
my parent’s basement "for all of terminal and those two months and then
when I started to receive my pay I would know where I would stand financially.
There are a few other benefits that we receive such as CRSC which only applies
to some veterans that have combat disabilities and is really not a large
benefit depending on a variety of calculations and inconsistencies, with that
said this benefit cannot possibly be used to accurate depict future financial
plans. It also could take up to several months to be approved once it does it
is than 60 days until it hits the system.
Then there’s Social Security
Disability. This is also a great benefit because it allows those who are
"actually disabled" a monthly amount to help because they cannot get
a Job. Here’s the problem. Even if this benefit was $10K a month it wouldn't
matter, because this money cannot be verified income to account for anything. It’s
only good for putting away for a rainy day because at some point it ends.
Whether they decide to stop paying or you get better or you start
"There was comments from other Marines about my campaign and his exact
words about the situation were , "it's just the way it is" he like so
many others just think that they have to "deal" with this problem. I
Then there’s unemployment. Most guys
think they can use this as soon as they get out because, technically, there
unemployed. This is true for active duty fully fit for work marines because
they are employable. But not someone who is disabled or has a disability so
this is cancelled out by SSDI. And even if it was given that too wouldn't
account for anything because it ends too.
So where are we now, we are
collecting all of this money that can't be used for anything. Thank god there
is our education benefit because here WAS my plan. I told my recovery care
coordinator because it is his job to make sure i have a PLAN that i was going
to relocate to my home state, "BUY A HOME AND GET MY EDUCATION!!!!"
PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THAT LAST
SENTENCE, it is the American dream to Own a home and have an education. Here is
where we F**k up as a country. Our guys fight for the freedom to own a home and
get an education, the dream I wanted too just like everyone else and here I am.
The perfect example of the product this war created. I am a wounded veteran
that is now 100% disabled that is now homeless, unemployed, without an
education. And all they feed you is bullshit about how you can just collect
disability and go to school. NOT POSSIBLE.
The education benefit is only good
if you have a job here’s why. The BAH you are entitled too is a scam. Its free
money. A great allowance which is very high in some places. But I can't use it
to be approved to buy a home. so there goes my plan right out the window. My
recovery care coordinator didn't know anything about that did he or she. How
about the Company commander does he know. Does the battalion commander know.
Does the commandant know? Does the Pentagon Know? >?? No they don’t! I know
that because all we see in the media is suicides sky rocket and we don't know
why. Well i just told you why. I know the answer to why PTSD is not only an
abused diagnosis but also a "BRAND" I know why the Wounded Warrior
Project is a Multi-million dollar organization but only pennies is used for the
benefit of Wounded warriors. I know why guys are killing themselves because
after going overseas and losing their legs there only dream now is to become a
doctor at a college and teach but they find out they can't because if they went
to school full-time they wouldn’t be able to provide for their family and or
own a home. They need to work but they can't because there "100%"
disabled. So they find easier things to do like sit in there parents basement
and play video games, turn to drugs and alcohol, abuse meds, and then kill
themselves because its easier than dealing with the bullshit of the system they
If you gave me the change to stand
in front of every officer at the pentagon I could safely tell them what the
true meaning of PTSD is and what actually makes this guy’s pull the trigger on
themselves. And more importantly instead of pointing fingers like every sour
combat vet does I actually have a solution. I developed a program and a system
that will work, at the minimum temporarily until this country gets their shit
straight. Through my nonprofit organization called Donate Strength to Patriots
I will be able to meet the specific goals and needs of combat veterans all over
the country. Most importantly our mission would be to give every one of these
vets a home of their own and finally once in their lives they can relax and
breathe, focus on themselves, provide for their families, and most importantly
for the first time ever, do what they WANT to do.
I can go on and on about how this
program will work and how it works. In fact anytime someone has an idea, for
instance a concept people will say well how do you know it will work. I’m going
to say, well I already did it. So let’s stop wasting time and let’s make sure
the right people see this so we can do what’s right by these veterans that we
so casually dismiss in our lives. How about instead of everyone saying thank
you to a veteran let’s see if they really mean it and give them the opportunity
to do so through our program.
How I know what I know, again
without getting into details, my wife and I just purchased our first home this
past month. It was nothing short of a miracle how it all worked out. One day I
would love to tell you how it all unfolded but the good news is we are home
owners. I pushed my way through the system with much persistence and
determination. I made most of the things possible through the internet
fundraiser I put on with indiegogo which raised over $10k. This gave us the
little bit of money we needed to get per the hump. Because of all of this I
know very confidently that this will work because it did. I also know that I am
starting to feel better than I have ever felt.
What i need for you is to help me to
continue to gain exposure. I need to be able to talk to the right people and if
they truly want to know how to fix the issue this country has I would be glad
to tell them. I have the facts to support it.
Check out his efforts at donatestrength.com
Here is his Facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/donatestrength
Time for a C-Gar!