I am 45 years old and I am an Army Retired Infantry NCO (11B) (SSG/E-6), having served for 20 years active duty from 1985-2005. My last major combat deployment being the initial invasion of Iraq -”Iraqi Freedom” in the spring of 2003 with the 3/502 Infantry (Widowmakers), 2nd BDE, 101st Airborne Division.
After returning, and subsequently retiring in Jan 2005, I then went on to continue serving by working for a company from Feb 2005 thru Dec 2011 that gave me the ability to use my knowledge and skills as an Infantry NCO to continue training soldiers every day in the art of marksmanship and tactical scenarios using state of the art computer simulations (EST 2000), then our company laid us all off due to apparent Govt funding issues in Dec 2011.
On Dec 24, 2007 (X-mas Eve) I sustained a massive heart attack. I was flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN where they saved my life by doing a triple bypass.
I was back to work by Feb 2008. I was told by my heart doctors in Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt) that I had massive amounts of sulfur in my lungs. After hearing this laying in my hospital bed, I realized that in Mosul, Iraq in 2003, we suffered a few months of close contact from sulfur smoke from an enemy RPG attack on local sulfur fields that we were nearby. The doctors seemed amazed at this issue from my military service.
The VA has since rated that as a “contributor” to COPD but my heart issues apparently cannot be rated, as they told me that my heart issues were never apparent with my final physical upon leaving the Army, nor within one year after. I am currently rated VA Disabled 60%. I have a denied claim from 2008 for this.
I currently have an active claim in (submitted May) to VA with an anticipated close date in 2014 sometime stemming from my back issues (new MRI’s done).
In Feb 2009, I had another heart attack, and I had to get two stents put in my heart. Then another stent being put in this past Nov 2012 due to another blockage. I can only hope and pray I will be OK for years to come. Due to my COPD/Lungs/Heart issues I get tired very easily now, after the smallest effort physically now.
It makes me feel so helpless…
Two heart attacks, stents in my heart, COPD (Sulfur exposure IRAQ in 2003 IMHO), Discs in my back bulging (MRI done last week, L1-L2), Bone spurs in my back L1-L4, Scoliosis, Knees shot, Hearing going, right ankle reconstruction, but I am still trying to hang in there and “Drive On”, like I always did in the Army for 20 years….but it is getting rough guys, that is why I am now asking for help publicly.
Financially we are not in a position to be able to afford all the repairs our home needs. My credit rating is not good enough to get our mortgage company to refinance at the lower rates now (Current we pay 6.3%, 30 yr fixed), or to even get an equity loan to be able to afford much needed repairs to our home.
We have tried refinancing twice in the last 3 yrs, both times we were denied.
Three years ago I had a roof company (out of business now) work with our insurance and they authorized a new roof at the time, little did I know at the time that we would get scammed after they got money from us, ( I had another heart issue during this time frame) and left a $5 tarp, and then went ghost on us.
Our home owner’s insurance says “not their fault” we got a bad company, they paid out the initial half estimate only, never paying out the second half of estimate, because they never received a certificate of completion on our roof from the company (6 mo. time limit they say), so we get screwed both ways, yay…. Our roof and other areas that they have partially paid out for has not been covered since because of this situation according to them, although we still have to pay for full insurance coverage included in the mortgage.
We have to pay out of pocket for a total new roof, and have a certificate of completion sent to the home insurance people to have our roof insured again.
We have had three water floods on our second floor (kitchen) due to burst water pipes, now I am so scared to have anything hooked up water wise like a dishwasher, ice maker water line, etc. Our kitchen floor is torn up, and our carpeting is totally ruined…I don’t even want to know what the boards under carpets look like (mold?)….
Our bathroom floor is cracking badly; cracks are now seen around doorways, ceilings, and even walls.
Our kitchen is a total disaster. Our cabinets are literally falling apart, especially first 6 inches up, where the water damage got to them (Pressed wood-no good). The flooring in the kitchen is shot, period.
Electrical in our home also is in need of replacement, as outlets go out, constant light bulb replacements, weird glitches like plugging in more than two things in kitchen causes outage, like small griddle and maybe a can opener…….yeah really.
With my job loss 21 months ago due to no fault of my own (all four of us employed there at the time were laid off), and my & my sons ongoing medical issues, and my wife’s recent job loss, I feel really helpless to be able to do anything about our house literally falling apart around us. We barely manage to pay basic bills, never mind major home repairs that are so desperately needed.
To add to our stress, on 27 May 2013 one of my twin 20 yr old sons (They live with us) was admitted to the hospital for two weeks for evaluation of a mental episode he experienced suddenly. He has since been interim diagnosed with Psychotic disorder (nos), and is receiving regular evaluations with a local Psychiatrist. We are in great need now of not only funds to cover much needed major repairs to our home, but now also funds for his medical care co pays, and added expenses/bills.
My son has recently been able to take a Small Walmart job (cart pusher) to try and slowly expose him to a work environment once again, as he does experience anxiety constantly, but this will hopefully help in his strive to get back to where he was Before the mental break he experienced on 27 May 2013. It is a rough path, but with medical help, and positive interaction, one that he will overcome we hope.
Even with my military Tricare medical for our son, co-pays are adding up big time…and when he loses his Tricare in NOV 2013-(He turns 21)(Unless we can get a permanent diagnosis before Oct 2013), we have no idea what is going to happen. We will be applying for Incapacitation status thru DEERS once we get the packet fully put together. My son’s next appointment is on 26 SEPT 2013.
My wife lost her good job in June 2013, after a fender bender in the mountainous Georgia/TN Hwy area. She was a Greyhound Motor coach operator. She had a perfect driving record up until this incident, which we hope to fight in court. She has recently went back to work as a bus driver for school kids at FT Campbell, a job she did for 10 years prior to Greyhound, and that will help, but it is now where close to what she made at Greyhound, so finances very tight, as creditors are screaming at us constantly.
I have applied for SSDI (June 2013), and it is a long process, and have been told it could be months and months before I get a decision on my SSDI. So, in the meantime, we are trying to do all we can, but simply do not have the resources at this time to be successful.
My pride does not help my family to have a safe home, it takes skills and finances…all of which I do not have much of right now, can you help, or do you know someone who may be of help to us?
I would not be asking for help publicly, if I could find any other way.
Any help is appreciated greatly, financially or labor/material wise or just spread my story.
Thank you and God Bless you all.
Steven G. Coderre
Last Unit before leaving active duty:
This is our home that we need help with:
Kitchen Floor currently:
Bathroom Floor cracking (structural?)Kitchen cabinets are ruined:Kitchen Floor had to be pulled up again after recent flood from burst pipes:Me, one of the times in the hospital, two heart attacks, more stents, COPD (Sulphur exposure IRAQ in 2003), Discs in my back bulging (MRI done last week, L1-L2), Bone spurs in my back L1-L4, Knees shot, Hearing going, I am still trying to hang in there and “Drive On”, like I always did in the Army for 20 years….but it is getting rough guys, that is why I am now asking for help publicly…my pride does not help my family to have a safe home, it takes skills and finances…all of which I do not have much of right now, can you help us?