Editor’s note: A Go Fund Me account has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/c9bxypy for anyone who would like to donate to help.
To the Editor:
My name is William E. Elliott, but most people call me Bill. I am a Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) disabled veteran. I am not writing this letter for sympathy or gratitude. I am just at a point where I just do not know what to do. I joined the Army straight out of high school. After basic training I was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. in the 82nd Airborne. I also spent time at Fort Polk, Louisian, and a year in Korea. After six years on active duty, I joined the Ohio National Guard. In the six years I was in the guard, I deployed to Iraq for a year.
I have had four back surgeries and had a dorsal column stimulator put in my back and neck. I have more procedures to come. I suffer from small fiber neuropathy. I also have a undiagnosed neurological disorder. The fact that I only weighed 118 pounds while I was in service beat my back up pretty bad I had a couple of bad jumps and just carrying all the weight in my ruck sack took its toll on me.
I am now permanently in a electric wheelchair and on oxygen 24 hours a day. My wife has had to quit her professional life to help take care of me. I live in a house that the bedrooms and bathroom are upstairs and there is no way for me to get up to them because the staircase is to narrow for a chairlift. I have to go to the YMCA three times a week with an aid to shower and me and my wife had to turn our living room into a bedroom. We need an addition of an ADA bathroom and a bedroom.
Our second problem is that we have an older van that was never intended to be an ADA van. We take very good care of the van because it is my only transportation but we use it very sparingly for this reason. We need to get a new van that was designed to be an ADA van.
We have exhausted every way we know how to achieve these goals. The VA has denied my claim several times for reasons no one can explain and our county has no funds available. The scope of work is to much for one group to take on by themselves. This has been going on now for over five years and it has just been mentally and physically draining on my wife and I. I am not sure what can be done if anything but I am out of ideas and steam. If anyone has any ideas or are willing to help. It would be great fully appreciated.
— William Elliott