Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York Inc: The Marine, Andrew

Sara Chuzie Affiliate Success Stories

For four years, the Veterans One-stop Center of WNY has provided support to Veterans going through the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court, a special court for drug and alcohol addicted veterans. This support empowers the recovery of these veterans by embedding a staff member in the courtroom for the weekly court dates that provide wraparound services in collaboration with the Veteran mentors and other service providers. In the fall of 2016, one of the VOC of WNY’s Veteran Outreach Advocates and Marine Corps Veteran, Jeff Gramlich, met another young combat Marine who had recently been transferred to Veterans Court. The Marine, Andrew, had been medically retired in 2015 after 5 years of service. A year later, Andrew was unemployed, had gotten a DWI, and was living with family in an unhealthy situation. To add to Andrew’s stress, he was also trying to navigate the complicated immigration process to bring his wife to the United States. This proved to be Andrew’s biggest concern, and Jeff was able to connect the Veteran with an attorney, who completed the paperwork necessary for his wife to join him. After discussing his options, Andrew decided to move in with a friend to alleviate the unhealthy components that had added to his problems in his previous living situation. As his life began to stabilize, Andrew expressed interest in going back to school to pursue an advanced degree. Andrew had already completed his Bachelor’s and exhausted his GI Bill, so Jeff was able to connect Andrew with the VA Vocational Rehabilitation program for the online program that he wanted. Andrew had also begun experiencing additional serious medical issues that were related to his service, so Jeff connected him with a Veterans Service Officer to increase his current disability rating, which is at 70%. The claim is still pending but Jeff should be notified of a decision very soon. America’sWarriorPartnership.org © 2017 America’s Warrior Partnership and Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York Inc. All rights reserved. Case Study. The VOC continues to remain engaged with Andrew, but Jeff notes that Andrew is admittedly in a much better place than he was when VOC advocates initially met him. They will continue to follow up with Andrew and look forward to being part of Andrew’s empowerment as he continues his transition back to the civilian world.