Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband is broken. Knees, back, migraines, torn shoulder, sleep problems ... he is a mess. He is still on active duty for nine more months. He has been in to see his doctors over and over again, and the appointments just keep getting shorter and shorter.
No one is helping him. It is now a fight just for him to get Motrin, let alone anything else.
What can I do? What can he do? With him getting out, he is easily 30 percent disabled, but I'm worried the Army will screw him over, just like it has for 10 years now.
I'm still in college, we have four kids and we're about halfway out of financial disaster. I'm worried he is going to get his DD214 and a swift kick in the butt, and our family will be on the streets.
-- Broken Wife
Dear Broken Wife,
Let's pray this doesn't happen to him. Here's the deal: He has to keep going to see his doctor. He may not like going to the doctor. Perhaps he feels like he is complaining or is viewed as being weak, but he has to go. He needs everything to be well-documented in his medical records.
Your husband is nervous because he is leaving military service physically different than he was when he joined. He's had 10 years on active duty and now he's transitioning. I'm sure he wonders what he will do to support his family and what his next career will be.
I also know this is causing a lot of anxiety for you because you are concerned about your entire family. It's great that you are in college, and from your report, you are halfway out of debt. Those are great accomplishments.
During your husband's exit from the military he will have to attend briefs with the Transition Assistance Program. You can, and should, attend those briefings, too. You will find out about which benefits your family will retain and for how long.
Your husband will also meet with VA counselors to discuss medical and monetary benefits. Again, it's important for you to attend as many briefings and meetings as possible so you know how to help your husband and your family.
I hope your transition to civilian life is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Please keep in touch with me.
-- Ms. Vicki