After serving 20 years in prison, a Tyler area veteran who had not applied for his benefits was released. He persevered to receive his benefits and transition back into the community with the help of the Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN).
“I got to see this veteran’s journey from before he was released from prison, to when he started corresponding with the Peer Service Coordinator (PSC), up to today when he got confirmation of his back pay,” said Erin McGann, Justice Involved Veterans Coordinator of the Texas Veteran Commission’s Mental Health Services.
“The PSC helped him every step of the way. She helped him with housing, employment, mental health services for his PTSD and got him connected with a VCSO (Veterans County Service Officer) for benefits,” McGann said.
She further described what the veteran overcame, “He got cancer and lost his job. He had a hard time getting treatment. He missed some chemo appointments because he went to jail for a parole violation, he was depressed and had suicidal thoughts.”
Throughout this, the MVPN was there to help.
“The PSC helped him with transportation to medical appointments and got him into a cancer support group. She went above and beyond; really reached for this guy,” said McGann. “He is now getting his VA benefits including $42,000 in back pay.”
Pictured is Erin McGann, Justice Involved Veterans Coordinator of the Texas Veteran Commission’s Mental Health Services.