Irene’s Story: A Military Couple’s Experience With AmericaServes
By Philip Chan
Irene and her husband, a 75-year-old honorably-discharged veteran, had been struggling to afford housing, transportation, and medical equipment. Hesitant to request support because of the often negative stigma around needing assistance, the couple had never applied for or received health benefits or assistance from the Veterans’ Administration (VA). The couple was referred to AmericaServes by a member of their community who explained the program’s unique approach to coordinating solutions for veterans.
TXServes, San Antonio’s coordination center, worked to put Irene in contact with existing provider partners and support organizations. Within 30 days, Irene’s husband was enrolled in the VA Healthcare system, contact was made with a local housing authority in efforts to secure ADA compliant housing, and various provider and community partners donated the medical devices Irene and her husband had previously gone without. To date, seven separate AmericaServes provider partners have secured the basic necessities for the couple—the same necessities he fought to protect.
Stories like Irene’s remind us that while quantitative outcomes are easily displayed with dashboards and IPRs, each client, each request, and every veteran has their own unique story. These veterans were willing to stand tall and answer our nation’s call to service. Today, it is our turn to answer their call, to attempt to repay their dedication by providing support to them and their families.
The impact of every AmericaServes team member is multiplied when we coordinate with our provider partners. This coordination of time, resources, services, and support has allowed us to provide service solutions to over 14,000 deserving veterans in more than 16 communities. Yet thousands of veterans are still in need of assistance. AmericaServes allows us to collectively help those who defend our way of life. I urge you; team members, supporters, stakeholders, and clients, to ask yourself how your community has benefitted from such collective efforts and share these stories.