“When I joined the Army I joined with the intention like so many do, to use my GI bill benefits towards college, and to use veterans preference as a way to get into law enforcement.
Along with the difficulties average veterans have when transitioning, I left the Army with injuries and was unable to work. I struggled with homelessness for years waiting on my VA disability claim to be processed.
I reached out to all the main veteran’s support agencies and nonprofits for help, but I never received the help that I needed. I felt as though all my struggles fell on deaf ears. It was very impersonal, frustrating, and extremely difficult to find support.
When I met Stacia McDonough from Independence for Veterans, I couldn't believe I was actually being treated with the utmost respect and compassion and not like another face in the crowd. Independence for Veterans has been there 100% to help me from day one. They have helped me get on the right track. Other charities were dismissive, and would callously tell me they couldn't help, and I would be right back to square one no closer to any solutions, and left with the same problems.
I really feel that there is an inherent problem in big agencies that are trying to cater to a huge audience. They’re run like corporations: they’re impersonal, don't care, or are just too busy.
Independence for Veterans is definitely not that. They are exactly what we need. Someone that cares, someone that really wants to help, and someone that reaches out even when there isn't a problem-just to see how things are going with me. As Mrs. McDonough was married to a combat veteran, she totally gets it, and us.
I want to thank Independence for Veterans for helping me, and for their continued support as I make my journey through life outside of the military. I know they will always be there for me. They are the real deal.”
Stationed in Abu Dhabi Persian Gulf Desert Shield / Desert Storm Veteran “Airman of the Year” Award 1989
I had the great fortune of meeting Mrs. McDonough at Christmas time, approximately 6 years ago. I was really down on my luck: living in a veteran’s homeless shelter, I had recently gotten divorced, lost a great job, and broke my foot. From the moment I met her, I sensed such genuine kindness and compassion from her. She was just a volunteer at the time. She went out of her way to assist me in every way possible. From assisting me with direct financial assistance, to rent at the shelter, brand new clothing, driving me to doctor’s appointments, got me free dental, helping me write resumes, Christmas and birthday presents for my 2 children, the list goes on and on.
Thankfully (a lot of credit goes to her), I am no longer homeless. I have an apartment, a vehicle (all thanks to her), a job, and a wonderful girlfriend. She gave me my life back. Throughout my journey of homelessness, there were only 2 beings at my side without fail: Stacia McDonough and God.
Mrs. McDonough’s extreme generosity, patience and graciousness are what pulled me through. God bless her and all she’s doing for our veterans. Mrs. Stacia McDonough is our best advocate. Her heart knows no bounds.
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