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More than once, DAV is there for veteran

Air Force veteran Brian Koetting is a fine example of the old adage ‘mother knows best.’

“I enlisted in 1963 as a result of my mother calling a recruiter after I had been “released” from high school numerous times,” says Koetting. “I had no idea what the military even was at that point.”

As it turned out, the military suited Koetting quite well. He retired from the Air Force in 1993, 30 years and 14 days after enlisting. Throughout those years, Koetting moved many times and served unaccompanied on tours in Thailand and Labrador as well as accompanied tours in Italy and Spain. He saw numerous assignments at major air commands, and three assignments at the Air Force Personnel Center, where he retired.

But, like many veterans, the injuries Koetting sustained during his service resulted in lingering pain. One injury took place on an F-16 training flight.

“The worst is constant neck and back pain resulting from a trip I took in an F-16 as the senior enlisted Air Force NCO in Southern Europe,” says Koetting. “A few months after that flight, I ended up in Germany having the first of three neck operations.” 

Several years later, Koetting would have four back operations, and he realized retirement might look different than what he’d once anticipated.

“My dream of retiring, playing golf, and doing stained glass as a hobby ended quickly,” says Koetting. “That being said, I feel very fortunate to have received great care while in the military, and more recently from our local VA.”

He also feels fortunate to have connected with a DAV representative. 

“My military jobs, for the years before I retired, made me think I knew what I needed to do when I retired and got ready to face the VA,” says Koetting. “I was completely wrong and terribly unprepared!”

Things went more smoothly after a friend referred him to a local DAV representative who provided counsel and helped prepare and submit his claim with the VA.

“That representative called me before I ever heard from the VA to tell me the outcome,” says Koetting. “I was pleased with the result but, sometime later, I knew I needed to follow up on some other issues and sought out DAV again. Once more they got me prepared and helped successfully increase my rating.” 

Koetting says DAV made the process smooth and the results were better than he expected. 

“DAV does such a wonderful job assisting vets with their VA issues and claims,” said Koetting.

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