Tell Us Your Story

We are interested in your experience in transitioning back into civilian life. Please tell us what surprised you and/or troubled you about your return from service. What problems did you encounter? Were they successfully resolved? Do you have any tips for other returning veterans?

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Your Stories

A Marine’s Widow

In July 2001, my husband retired as a Master Gunnery Sergeant in United States Marine Corps. For 24 years he served his country with extreme passion and integrity. Adjustment back to civilian life proved to be difficult only because government and private sector employers did not recognize the supreme training of service members and how those skills really did easily transition back into government and private sector jobs. My husband had submitted hundreds of applications online and hardcopy applications to many jobs, and finally was accepted for a position at the county’s juvenile detention facility at half his salary of a Master Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. But he gladly accepted it and promised them one year of service. Finally, a start in the civilian world beyond the Corps. Employment in this new world did not come as easily as we both had expected. This was a very difficult time for us; we had never expected it would take so long (over six months) to be offered a position with the government or any private employer. The strain on our family was almost unbearable, but we survived.

Scott continued to apply for positions with the federal government since veterans preference was his earned benefit. He eventually landed in a position with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as Liaison to INTERPOL's United States National Central Bureau in Washington, D.C. Scott excelled in his position, and although he started as a GS-9, within the next five years he continued to promote and made his way up to a GS-14. He thoroughly enjoyed his position, every day was a challenge and he looked forward to work each day. However all that was soon going to change.

In December 2010, my husband was diagnosed with GBM stage IV terminal brain cancer. They gave him six months to live. Scott immediately knew what had caused the cancer. He often told me that when he was stationed on the battleships around the world, that he could actually “smell the radiation” when he was on deck. But it was his job, it was part of his duty, it was part of what he was - he was a Marine.

Given the best possible medical treatment provided by TRI-Care Prime, surgery followed by radiation, followed by chemo, my husband survived for an amazing two years, with me by side. And during those two years he was able to write his own obituary, write his own funeral instructions, his own will and make sure I and our children would be able to continue when he passed.

My husband Scott, has been gone from this earth for two very long and lonely years now and I miss him very much; every day is a loss- I don't know how I have survived. His amazing strength and fortitude was due to the training and his faith in the Marine Corps and this great country.

However, I realize things could've been different, things could've been much easier for him and his family. Transitioning back from active duty into the private sector was a harrowing experience and a terrifying time for his family. We needed support that was lacking. As I read through this website, (Battle Proven Foundation (BPF)) I see that now there is a place where help is available, for active-duty veterans and those who been out of the service for a while, to find employment and the services they need to fully transition back into active fully productive lives. If only this site and these people had been around when we needed them four years ago. If the BPF had been functioning when my husband had fallen sick from terminal brain cancer, how much more comforted would my husband have felt leaving us alone on this earth?

I now feel a sense of hope for those service men and women in today's world, who will be helped by Battle Proven Foundation; they will receive guidance and information; provided resources and simply have someone listen to their fears and concerns – and to be comforted at this difficult time in their lives. This foundation will be there for those now, where none existed for us four years ago.

So now there is hope where before, none existed.

Michele W. Virginia

Our Family Veterans

George Weasel H. is 84 years old and a retired Nam Vet; he lived in Germany for 12 years. He now lives in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Patrick Weasel H., PHD lives in Missoula Montana. He is a retired Director of Indian Studies at Missoula State University and Viet Nam Vet, now in his late 60's.In his spare time he drove for other disabled vets in Missoula.

Donald Ray H. also served in the Army from 1954 to 1957 in the 273rd Brigade 8th Army in Germany. He moved back to Browning after his military service, and other than his time in the Forest Service, lived for most of his life on the Blackfeet Reservation.

John M., of Michigan, served in WWII and Korea. He has his Master's Degree in Engineering.

James Robert N. served in the Air Force during the Korean War. In those days the only jobs in the Air Force for Black Men was a Cook in the mess hall or Fire Fighter. He chose Fire Fighting. He also was the first Black Man to become Head Engineer of 20th Century Fox. . James joined the service at age 15; he had his grandmother lie on his application to say he was 16 years old.

Mandy N., Montana

Battle Proven Helped with VA Benefits

Battle Proven Foundation has helped me, Carl F., in my battle with the V.A. in getting my Medal and V.A. benefits. I have been covered with paper work from the VA for many years, until I met Steve Fails with Battle Proven Foundation. He and his foundation went to fight for me and got the job done in a timely manner, cutting all of the political red tape and many months and years out , due to his foundation located in DC. Battle Proven is face to face with the VA in Washington DC, getting the job done!

Carl F., Texas

I am a Veteran

I believe in Battle Proven Foundation for the following reasons:

Upon leaving the service over 20 years ago, I’ve noticed the rise of so many organizations who claim to
serve the men and women who have served this country, such as myself.
Some have come and gone. Some claim to speak for specific segments of the veteran population. Some
claim to honor only the worst cases of wounded. The majority of these organizations have only offered
“lip service”.

I went to the website I spoke to a guy who spoke passionately, not of
his service, but of the service of others. Not about what I could do to help him or his cause, but of how
he wanted to do for me and others like me. He kept saying that there are many branches of the military,
so many of us who need and deserve benefits but have not received them.

I am sure, like myself, you are proud of your service to whatever branch of the military, my case Navy,
and to this country. But the concept that resonates with me and that I love most is “One Voice, One

The explanation given to me by this guy is one voice yelled by millions cannot be ignored and one team,
representing ALL members of the military, who swore an oath to serve their nation. Now that is THE
concept behind Battle Proven.

I will do my part to see this organization succeed, because it MUST. So I challenge all veterans and their
friends and families to take the “Thank you for your service” pledge. Once you have taken the pledge,
proudly place the words “One Voice, One Team” on Facebook, Twitter and all your social media, and tell
your story or the story of a veteran you want to honor. Don’t forget to like the pages on Facebook
There are 21.5 million of us vets living in the United States today. As a Battle Proven vet myself, I invite
each one of you, whether homeless, wounded, interned, healthy, wealthy or other, to join me as well as
five million (goal) of us on November 11, 2015 for the Battle Proven Veterans March on Washington D.C.
I ask each vet to outline a pair of boots to represent their service or that of a vet that is not at the march
or a vet that has fallen, is interned or non‐ambulatory. Upload a picture of the boots on Social Media
along with the story behind the boots. The cardboard boot outline, the person’s name and branch
should be sent to BPVM/NVCCD at PO Box 148, Centerville, Va. 20122 along with your $20 tax deductible
check. In return you will receive a medallion commemorating the march. Boot outlines will
be displayed at every Veteran Resource Center across the country.

I also challenge Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other social media companies to match the
donations made via their websites to Battle Proven Foundation, NVCCD and the Battle Proven Veterans

We will remind the world that the tears of service of every US veteran will come as a tsunami to
Washington on November 11, 2015.

My name is Nancy M., proud former member of the US Navy and I am Battle Proven.

One Voice, One Team.

Nancy M., Maryland

A Marine’s Life Well-lived

When John joined the Marines and Marine Air Wing One at 17, he had few expectations other than to serve his country. World War II was being fought on two fronts, in Europe and the South Pacific, and John wanted in.

After completing boot camp, John’s primary job in the military was to ensure members of his team had an "adequate supply of food and water, and other necessities." He was often forced to lead midnight raids on the camps of other services. While he never got caught, he was not always successful.

There was the orange marmalade he thought was peanut butter, scored off the Australians and the cans of peaches from the food locker on a L.S.T. that wound up flying through the air (from his men’s stomachs) as his platoon traveled across rough waters. But his fellow Marines were mostly fed and well-supplied, plus supplemented with other stuff from unusual places.

During World War II, John learned skills that would serve him well throughout the rest of his life: leadership, organization, creativity, fidelity, and honor. John was battle proven, and a very proud Marine. To this day, 88-year-old John’s license plates read: IMAWWII. (While that license plate is intended to communicate having served as a Marine, it has also gotten him out of quite a few traffic tickets!)

At the end of the war, John served in China. He never did become a fighter pilot, his ultimate ambition. Instead, John returned to Milwaukee and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to get his teaching certificate. The college counselor he consulted with upon his return told John there was nothing in his high school records to indicate any possibility of success at college. But the counselor had not been to war. John knew he was no longer that 17-year old boy those records reflected. In the military, he had become a man.

Ultimately, John married, and got a teaching job. He used a V.A. loan (at 1.5 percent interest) to purchase a home. John’s leadership skills were recognized early on. (He credited that to his role as a Staff Sergeant, a position he had been promoted to early on in his service because he could type.) He was quickly promoted to assistant principal, then a junior high principal, senior high principal, assistant Superintendent of Schools, and then as Superintendent of one of the largest school districts in Wisconsin.

Along the way, he taught his children the importance of duty, honor, and country, and made sure they knew all the words to "The Marine Corp Hymn!"

Throughout his career in education, John won many awards for his leadership, diligence, creativity, and the ability to bring people together. He was sought after to teach at seminars and local colleges, created one of the first alternative high schools, successfully led a wide variety of political and social causes, and wrote articles and books.

When he took an honor flight to Washington, D.C., a few years ago, to visit the new World War II memorial, John was thrilled to honor those who had fallen. But he also celebrated the life, as result of his service as a Marine, that he had lived in a nation he helped keep free.

John H., Wisconsin