Through DAV, Air Force veteran continues service
In the Garrett household, military service was something of a legacy.
“It was a family tradition for male members to join after high school, and I wanted to become independent and self-sufficient, and I knew the service would provide that,” says Air Force veteran William Garrett.
During his wartime service, Garrett developed lifelong bonds and friendships. One of his favorite memories was when President George W. Bush flew to U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base on 9/11, and was in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility where Garrett worked.
Garrett credits educational and disability compensation—obtained through DAV’s help—for helping him overcome obstacles and successfully transition back to civilian life.
“Having federal benefits—both educational and disability compensation—allowed me to be a full-time student and acquire my bachelor’s degree,” says Garrett.
Garrett says DAV assisted him with his initial claim which secured his eligibility for vocational rehab which allowed him to continue his education at the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University. He currently works for DAV as a national service officer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he helps ill and injured veterans secure their earned benefits and compensation. In this way, he says, DAV continues to give by providing a venue for meaningful work.
“DAV affords me the opportunity to make a living—to support and take care of my responsibilities—and provide services to veterans and their families,” says Garrett.
While Garrett’s work at DAV allows him to serve veterans alongside fellow veterans, he said he recognizes some employers may not fully understand the issues that are unique to this population. He said he hopes prospective employers will focus on veterans’ strengths and skill sets which were acquired through service.
“Veterans endure different hardships, and an entirely different way of life than civilians, and that has to be taken into consideration when considering the employment of the veteran,” said Garrett. “However, team work, leadership, and accountability are values that are instilled in every veteran, no matter what branch of service the veteran served in.”