Posted: March 24, 2017
My name is Claudine Wilson Choate, and I'm a U.S. Army veteran.
As veterans, we are often turned away when we try to get the assistance we need. We wait too long to get an appointment at the VA, and too often our claims are unjustly denied.
I know, because it happened to me. But I reached out to DAV for help — and I'm so glad I did.
I'm writing to you today to ask you for a favor: Read my story and share it with any veteran who needs help and could benefit from DAV's programs and services.
For years after I got out of the Army, I was doing well. I was working and taking care of my two beautiful daughters. But, in 2009, everything changed: I lost my job and my health started to decline due to service-connected injuries.
I didn't want to go back to the VA because they had already denied one of my claims. But I thought I had no choice … nowhere else to turn. That's where DAV came in.
At the advice of other veterans, I made the call to DAV. I talked with a DAV National Service Officer (NSO) and can only describe the assistance I received as "phenomenal." My NSO helped me re-file my claim with the VA, and I was awarded retroactive benefits dating back to 1999.
DAV donors made that all possible. It's my duty to pay it forward and share my story with you. I want all veterans to have access to the help I received.
Please share my story with a veteran you know who needs help to let them know they are not alone. Will you point a veteran to DAV and help them change their life?