Honoring Our Heroes: Meet Steven
Our veterans are some of our nation’s best and brightest, humble heroes who have exceeded expectations in their call to serve. As a Member of Congress, I consider it one of my most important responsibilities to ensure that our veterans have access to the benefits they earned and the resources they were promised when they enlisted in the military. As we near Veterans Day, I would like to share the story of another hero in our community:
Meet Steven – a U.S. Air Force Veteran from Bakersfield. While stationed abroad, he was involved in an accident that shattered his femur, and as a result, he has had a surgical steel rod placed in his body for over three decades.
Unfortunately, that same steel rod that helped hold his femur together following his accident has now become a source of daily pain.
After speaking with some fellow veterans who had also experienced injuries while serving, Steven decided that it was time to reach out to the VA for assistance. In 2015, the VA granted him 30% disability compensation. However, as Steven grew older, his situation also grew progressively worse.
That’s when Steven knew that it was time for the VA to re-evaluate his case. Unfortunately, his request, which was made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, was delayed for months by the VA. Although Steven had turned in the proper paperwork, the VA did not have records of it.
That’s when he called my office, and I am glad that he did. I was able to contact the VA on his behalf, and shortly after, the VA made a decision on Steven’s disability claim: his benefits were increased after reassessing his service-connected injury.
After finally receiving the updated notification from the VA, Steven had this to say: “I'm just a normal citizen, trying my best to make a living for myself. I never expected that I would receive any assistance with my case because in the big picture, it's a very small concern when compared to all of the things going on in the state, country, and world. When I saw that decision on my claim, after having made contact with the Congressman's office, I felt that a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I can't begin to express my appreciation.”
Sadly, Steven’s story is not uncommon. To any veteran receiving my note today, please know that no request is too small or insignificant. I am here to serve you, and will always fight for you in Congress.
If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my Bakersfield office at (661) 327-3611. I would be honored for the opportunity to help you.
And to our veterans – thank you. Our country is all the better because of you.
God bless our veterans,