Brian's Story

You helped Brian see the light

Brian welcomed the birth of his son at the young age of 15. Soon after, Brian’s perspective on life shifted. He realized he needed to change his plans to take care of his family. When he graduated high school, he knew college wouldn’t be an option for him as he fought to support his son with one dead-end job after the next. After years of the same cycle, he decided to follow in the footsteps of both his brothers and enlisted in the United States Army in 2007.

He was stationed all across the U.S. as a 62 Bravo (heavy machinery technician). In 2012, he was being prepped to ship out to Iraq when he was severely injured and broke his neck. Five years of service, and in an instant he was discharged and headed back to Michigan.

For years, he struggled to obtain disability support and described the past few years as a blur of trips to the VA, complicated paperwork and lots of denials. He looked to nonprofits and veteran organizations for support but no one seemed to be able to help. Brian knew the bank wouldn’t care if he had served his country, they would still take his house if he couldn’t pay his mortgage. He didn’t know where to go or what to do and began struggling with crippling depression.

Days before foreclosure on his house, he got word that his disability was approved and he was going to be receiving support. To ensure that his family would never be at-risk of losing their home again, he took all of the disability money and paid off their mortgage. He thought the worst was behind him, but his depression wouldn’t let up.

A few years ago, his world came crashing down again when he lost his job. The fate of his family was weighing on him and he wasn’t ready to let his wife and three children down. His depression became so unbearable that he kept his windows shut and his curtains closed at all times. He lived in the dark, because the light of day was too much.

Then, Brian found our HVRP program and began working with Heath, a military veteran and VOA staff member. For the first time in years, Brian was around someone who understood him. Thanks to your support, Heath was ready and able to help. Heath helped Brian revise his resume and prepare for interviews.

Brian searched for months and was finally invited to interview for a great job at GM. Brian knew the job was perfect for him. There was still a problem though... the interview was 45 minutes away... an hour and a half round-trip. Brian wasn’t sure if he would have enough gas to get there and he definitely knew he wouldn’t be able to get back. Once again, you were there. Thanks to your support, Heath was able to provide Brian with a $25 gas card so he could focus on interview prep instead of running out of gas.

In March, Brian signed an offer to work for GM’s Flint Assembly Plant as their On-Site Maintenance Technician. Brian told us, 

“I knew I could get that job... I knew that I was worth that job… and I knew I could keep that job because Heath had my back.”

Now, Brian is working full-time, receiving full benefits, and even joined the union. Because of your support, Brian will have stability again. He’s especially grateful to HVRP for allowing him to show his three kids that hard work and dedication truly does pay off. Brian remains thankful for VOA, for Heath, and for you!

“Heath saw that I lost part of myself when I lost my job and for him to make sure that I had a sense of purpose again made it so my windows were open today.”