Air Force veteran found assistance—and purpose—thanks to DAV
Andrew Clark answered the call to duty—to serve and defend the freedoms he so cherishes—by enlisting in the Air Force in 2001.
In 2003, Clark deployed to Iraq with the 822 Security Forces Squadron. He emerged from his service in 2004 with numerous service-related injuries, most notably a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and epilepsy.
Over time, residual effects of seizures impacted his ability to go about the course of his day as he battled memory loss, communication problems and difficulty concentrating. Eventually, a caregiver stepped in to help Clark with his daily tasks and make sure he received his medications. He remains grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers for helping him achieve a better quality of life, and remain as independent as possible.
He is also grateful for DAV.
“DAV has helped me in so many ways, and continues to do so,” says Clark.
DAV members in Clark’s North Carolina community reached out to him and invited him to attend a meeting where he gained valuable information about the VA system. It wound up being a mutually beneficial relationship, with the young veteran helping to keep the chapter up and running.
“DAV helped me receive my full range of VA benefits,” says Clark. “Once I realized how incredible DAV was with helping with VA—providing straight answers is what I value most.”
Creating what is now one of the largest DAV Chapters in North Carolina, Chapter 2 transferred to Chapter 14, and Clark plays a key role.
By his third Chapter meeting, Clark was elected Chapter Commander. He says he received overwhelming support in learning the many DAV roles as Chapter Commander, and greatly benefitted from key networking opportunities that were available through conferences and conventions.
“I was just glad to have a purpose again,” says Clark. “That was the greatest aspect of DAV for me, waking up with a purpose and having a place to go, where I didn’t have to say, ‘You don’t understand.’
“I feel DAV is doing an outstanding job staying focused on our mission,” Clark added. “DAV is known for being the leading experts for VA benefits, but I know that DAV does so much more.”