#MissionMonday - Keith

Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.

#MissionMonday - KeithKeith is a Vietnam combat veteran who was drafted into the military and served his country bravely.  He explained that he served as a “tunnel rat,” a soldier who crawls through very small underground tunnels to determine if enemy soldiers are in hiding there. He described this job as incredibly stressful and one that required him to develop a “kill or be killed” mindset. Suffice it to say, this experience changed him forever.

He was still having horrible nightmares and intense reactions when loud noises went off anywhere around him, even decades after leaving the military. Sometimes he had problems with his memory and sometimes his hands would begin shaking for no reason. Keith went to the Veterans Administration and was given a 30% disability rating. He was always able to work and provide for his family but, even after decades, the nightmares never stopped. 

The store manager and GoodPartner Coach (a free life coach assigned to all Goodwill Team Members), at the Goodwill where Keith worked, were worried about him. It seemed that Keith’s difficulties were increasing. When his Coach, Ann, spoke with him, Keith said he felt stressed and he thought the nightmares were getting worse. He said he had gone to the VA again to ask for assistance and he was told they would get back to him within six weeks. That had been six months ago.

Ann knew what to do. She called Tremayne at Goodwill’s Veteran Services office and he agreed to meet with Keith and Ann the next day. Tremayne listened to Keith’s story and told Keith he would do what he could. Tremayne called back later that same day and instructed Keith to call Goodwill’s contact at the Sarasota Veteran Services offices immediately. Keith did as he was instructed.

Three weeks later, Keith was awarded 100% disability. This disability rating will allow him to get the therapy he has needed all along to deal with his PTSD. Keith is thankful that his Team recognized that he was in trouble, and even more thankful that our Veterans’ Team cut through all the red tape and put him in contact with precisely the right person at precisely the right time so he could get what he needed. It’s what we do…