After War, A Veteran Learns To Thrive

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Like many Veterans, the war followed Brandon home. He used alcohol to cope.


“I had a really hard time with the transition from military to civilian life,” Brandon, a Marine Corps Veteran, explains.

Encouraged by loved ones, he sought care at the Minneapolis VA — and by using his VA benefits to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and to get an education, Brandon built a new life and career.

“Anything that you might have going on, that’s what the VA’s for. And there are plenty of people there to help you.”

More than a quarter of all Veterans use VA health care; however, many are not aware of all the benefits VA health care includes. All enrolled Veterans who meet criteria have access to the following:

  • Preventive, primary and specialty care
  • Prescriptions
  • Vision and dental care
  • Mental health care
  • Home health care
  • Geriatrics and extended care
  • Medical equipment and prosthetics

Learn more about VA health care benefits.

In addition to health care, Brandon used VA’s Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) to earn two associate degrees, one in business management and one in marketing.

VA’s education benefits (including MGIB, Post-9/11 GI Bill® and others) assist Veterans in pursuing higher education degrees, certificates, and other education and training. Financial support can be used for flight training, non-college degrees, on-the-job training, technical training and more.

Find out more about VA education benefits.

The support Brandon received from MGIB helped to prepare him for entrepreneurship. He started his own production company and now travels the United States and Canada recording Native American music.

“I’m really happy where I’m at right now,” he says.

Watch Brandon’s story and learn more about VA benefits at Explore.VA.gov.

Courtesy photo
(Courtesy of Jackie Melendrez)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.

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