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DAV secures benefits for homeless veteran

A complex chain of events often leads a veteran into homelessness. Service-related health conditions can result in unemployment that potentially invites substance abuse issues and financial or legal struggles, ultimately leaving the veteran unable to afford housing and creating a cycle that’s difficult to break.

However, a single act can be the catalyst in a chain reaction that puts a veteran back on track. Navy veteran Joseph Lightwies was homeless for decades, but connecting with DAV National Service Officer (NSO) Joe Kauffman in 2015 proved to be the spark that changed his life for the better.

“When someone has been struggling as much as Joseph was, you do whatever you can to help the veteran receive a favorable outcome as quickly as possible,” said Joe, a Marine Corps veteran himself. “Finding Joseph a place to live and helping him get back on his feet was critical.”

“I became an NSO so I could help veterans like Joseph,” added Joe.

 “DAV had literally changed my life,” said Joseph. “Joe was there for me when it mattered most. I would not be here if it wasn’t for him and DAV.”

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