Army Veteran Scott was an infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division. He was injured on a deployment to Iraq. Upon returning to the States, he came to VA for help and says it changed the course of his life.

How were you injured? 

We had been low crawling back and forth, and as we were coming up over the berm, I get a call from the commander, get down, get down, get down. And then you hear [whistling] boom. And everything is black. And then I came to, and when I came to, it felt like somebody pushed life back into me.

When you got out of the military, did you immediately go to VA for help? 

When I left the military, as soon as we got down here and kind of got settled in, I went straight to VA. I knew I had PTSD and I questioned whether or not I had TBI. They started testing me for TBI and I tested positive for it, and I started going through treatment for TBI.

“Veterans earn the benefits we receive from VA.”

What was that transition for you, going from the military to civilian? 

I was having a hard time finding a job. I didn’t know how to properly write my resume. And then trying to manage all these different symptoms that I’m experiencing and not knowing what’s going on, it just became really frustrating and overwhelming.

And I had a baby that was on the way and born shortly after we got here. And so now I have an additional mouth to feed. I can’t take care of family. What am I supposed to do? And I got to a point to where it just became so overwhelming that I decided that I’d be better off if I was just gone.

And when I said that, my wife called the Veterans helpline, and they immediately contacted the police and the ambulances. And they got me over to VA. I went through counseling. Talked to a counselor there.

They got me fast forwarded into the mental health treatment and the treatment for TBI, physical therapy, going to see the doctor – it was all done at the CW Bill Young VA Medical Center.

How do feel about what happened then?

I wish I had never said it, but saying it led me to getting the help that I needed. If you’re contemplating suicide or you’re having memory issues or something like that and you haven’t gone to VA, go to VA. Tell them what’s going on. And they’ll help point you in the right direction.

What would you say to a Veteran who may not know any of this?

We as Veterans earn the benefits that we receive from VA and if there’s ever a question of whether you need help, take a step in the right direction and ask for help.

Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural speech, he said if we’re going to send our patriots into battle, it’s our responsibility to care for them and their families when they come home. And I think VA does a real good job of doing that.

Apply for VA Health Care

Enrolling for VA health care is easier than ever before. Explore your eligibility today at www.choose.va.gov/health.


Bronwyn Emmet is a public affairs specialist for VA’s National Veterans Outreach Office.

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