Veterans Stories

  • Veteran Stories
    Do you know a veteran that needs help? Find out how to qualify for assistance.  Take Action
  • Veterans Stories
    Do you know a veteran that needs help? Find out how to qualify for assistance.  Take Action
  • Veteran Stories
    Do you know a veteran that needs help? Find out how to qualify for assistance.  Take Action
  • Veteran Stories
    Do you know a veteran that needs help? Find out how to qualify for assistance.  Take Action
  • Veterans Stories
    Do you know a veteran that needs help? Find out how to qualify for assistance.  Take Action

Veteran Stories

Our nation’s veterans proudly served our country
and Priority Veteran is proud to serve our veterans.

Real Life Veteran Stories from Priority Veteran Clients

At Priority Veteran it is our honor to help veterans navigate complicated systems and link them to the benefits they need and deserve. Here are some real-life Priority Veteran stories:

Willis Bryant

Priority Veteran on WTVY in Dothan

Willis Bryant, US Air Force (Dothan)
From Under a Bridge to His Own Apartment

Six Months ago, Willis Bryant called a downtown Dothan overpass home. “I was homeless living under the bridge there on Range and Main.” Like many homeless, he turned to a homeless shelter. There, he was introduced to Priority Veteran who helped him get his life back on track. “Basically they’ve gotten me off the streets, gotten me into an apartment and medical through the VA. Never give up hope. They helped me and through my story I feel like this can help someone else.” Watch the story on WTVY/Dothan

 

Adrias Scott

Priority Veteran on WSFA/NBC Montgomery

Adrias Scott, US Army (Montgomery)
Credits Priority Veteran with Getting His Life Back on Track

When I reached out to Priority Veteran, they didn’t hesitate at all. They took me under their wing, guaranteed me that everything would be okay and that I would regain my financial stability. That’s what they did. They stuck with me from the beginning of the process all the way to the end,” he said. “I was one of those veterans that was at risk of losing their home so when Priority Veteran stepped in, it was such a relief and I didn’t have any worries after that.”  Read the story on WSFA/NBC

 

ABC 3340 6-18-17

Priority Veteran on ABC 33-40

Emmitt Bryant, US Marines (Birmingham)
Reached Out for Help During Tough Times

Emmitt Bryant turned to Priority Veteran for help when he recently fell on hard times. “I ran into a rough patch in November of last year which I was trying to address, but I had too much pride,” recalls Bryant. Working with his Priority Veteran case worker, he focused on developing a budget and planning to stay on course.  Watch the story on ABC 33-40.

 

Floyd Alexander PictureFloyd Alexander,  US Army (Huntsville)
From a Tent City to a One-Bedroom Apartment

While serving in the US Army, Floyd Alexander received the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon/Sharpshooter Qualification Badge, Hand Grenade/Marksman Qualification Badge and the M-16 Rifle/Air Assault Badge.

However, after serving active duty, times were hard, and he and his spouse were living in a tent city in the Huntsville area. At first reluctant, Floyd began working with United Way’s Priority Veteran who was conducting outreach in the tent city. Soon the couple was able to move into a one-bedroom apartment convenient to transportation and a shopping plaza. Now both husband and wife are employed and working closely with Priority Veteran on financially stabilizing factors such as budgeting, reducing debt, obtaining timely health services and increasing social and emotional support systems. Floyd is even looking for a second job to supplement the family’s monthly income.

 

Bobby Dawson PictureBobby Dawson, US Army (Tuscaloosa)
No Two Veteran’s Stories are Alike

Bobby Dawson, who served three years in the US Army during the Gulf War, is a wheelchair-bound veteran who weaved in and out of stable housing since his discharge. He was referred to Priority Veteran by the VA while recovering from surgery. His modest trailer was in desperate need of repairs and he had no running water or electricity because he was unable to pay the utility bills.

“With United Way’s Priority Veteran, it’s a blessing that there’s somebody out there who really cares for people who can’t do for themselves in their time of need,” Dawson said.

Priority Veteran assisted him with applying for social security benefits, reconnecting his utilities and arranging for improvements to make his trailer wheelchair accessible.  Dawson said. “Without this program, I wouldn’t have survived”. He credits Priority Veteran with helping him, saying “I believe in good and hope again.”

 

Marilyn SchneppMarilyn Schnepp, Marine Corp, (Birmingham)
Help When All is Lost a Fire

 At age 81, Marilyn Schnepp, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1950’s, unexpectedly had to abandon her apartment at the Birmingham Trade Towers which burned in the fall of 2015. Suddenly homeless, with none of her belongings, personal identification or documents, she was relieved to meet Orlando Boston, a United Way Priority Veteran case manager who was able to help her overcome many hardships including finding a new place to live in a senior living facility.

Marilyn, still has the strong grit of a former Marine, but she is grateful for the help she received from Priority Veteran. One of the biggest obstacles she faced was lack of identification and personal records which were all lost in the fire. Priority Veteran helped her obtain a replacement driver’s license, a new social security card and navigate verification of benefits to which she was entitled.

Marilyn shed tears of joy when her application for the senior living facility was finally approved. Priority Veteran was able to further assist Ms. Schnepp in settling into her new home by providing a bed, household goods and items to stock her pantry.  

Women Veteran Facts:

  • 1918 –  the first woman joined the U.S. Marine Corps, Pvt. Opha Mae Johnson.
  • 1950 – the Marine Women Reserves were mobilized for the Korean War and 2,787 women served proudly.
  • 1967 – the 2% restriction on the number of women allowed to serve in the U.S. military was lifted and senior officer ranks were open to women as a result of a modification of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act.
  • 2016 – 8% of the veteran population is female and 11% of veterans are over age 80.

Sources: to www.womenmarines.org and www.va.gov

 

Danny Brooks-PictureDanny Brook, (Tuskegee)
Linked to Resources to Avoid Homelessness

Danny was five months behind on his rent when he first began working with Priority Veteran. He said, “Right now I’m at risk of being homeless. I have no food or nothing.” He also couldn’t pay his bills or afford to get his car repaired. When Danny met with his Priority Veteran case worker he had no idea that she could be such a big help. He was able to bring his rent up to date, get help with bills, get food from a food bank and even get his car repaired. Danny says, “For me, Priority Veteran is a Blessing from God.”

Annie PearsonAnnie Lee Pierce, Navy (Tuskegee)
Recommends Priority Veteran to Anyone

Annie Lee, a proud US Navy veteran called on Priority Veteran for help when she needed it. She was glad that Priority Veteran has representatives in Tuskegee. She says, “I appreciate all the help that was given to me.”  Whenever she can she  recommends Priority Veteran to any veterans that need assistance.

 

MattandAmandaWeemsPhotoMatt and Amanda, Army (Tuscaloosa)
Once Homeless: “We Now have a Solid Plan”

Matt and Amanda, both Army veterans, have 3 children, 2 of which have special needs. They were homeless after Matt lost his job and all 5 family members were living in a Rodeway Inn. Matt learned about Priority Veteran through the VA in Tuscaloosa. Working with their Priority Veteran Case Manager, they received financial counseling and help with credit repair. Now their finances are in order and they are living in a house – and they plan to buy it. Matt says, “Priority Veteran didn’t give up on me or my family. We now have a solid plan to stay on our feet and even come out on top.”

shutterstock_68018101Robert, Marine Corps (Birmingham)
No Longer Cut Off from his Family

When Robert, who served in Iraq for 48 months, entered the Marine Corps he was married and had a home. Upon his discharge, he was divorced,  homeless and living in his broken down car. Embarrassed by his living conditions, he shut everyone out of his life. Once he began working with his Priority Veteran case manager, his life began to improve. Within two weeks, Priority Veteran provided housing and assisted with getting his car repaired. He continues to work with his Priority Veteran Case Manager and happily reports that his relationship with his family has improved and he is socializing more. He credits Priority Veteran with turning his life around.

Andrea Kelley

 Andrea, American Veteran (Huntsville) – Turned Her Life Around

The assistance Priority Veteran provided me was unbelievable. I never thought an organization existed that could totally turn my life around. Thank you so much!

 

James, James WathenNavy Veteran (Huntsville)
No Longer Living in the Woods

James was literally “staying in the woods”. Fortunately James received a housing voucher from HUD, but needed assistance with costly utility and security deposits before he could afford to move into an apartment. With help from Priority Veteran, James got his needs met and is living in a stable home. He is grateful for the help he received from Priority Veteran. James is pictured with Priority Veteran Team Member, Keith Perkins.

Terri NewberryTerri, Marine Corps Veteran (Huntsville)
From Homeless to a Safe Home

One night Terri and her children unexpectedly became homeless and had  nowhere to turn. Terri credits Priority Veteran for the fact that she and her children have beds to sleep in and place to call home. She says the Priority Veteran team helped stabilize her life, and she thanks God that such a program exists.