"I served proudly for almost nine years in US Army. I was in Iraq for a year. Fifteen days away from coming back, I was injured by a roadside bomb and immediately I knew I was going to lose my hand.
After my injury, I was kind of left wondering, you know, what type of career am I going to have now just with one hand and after, once I realized that I was going to be a prosthetic user, it kind of piqued my interest so I started doing my own research and, the more I learned about prosthetics the more I wanted to be involved, directly involved and I thought what better way than with the VA.
The benefit that, you know, that provided for me was, you know, a job and knowledge of the latest and greatest, you know, prosthetic devices out in the market. So in my pursuit of a career, I just happened to land one that suited me very well.
When you hear the word prosthetics you think arms and legs and that's about it. But actually that's not it. We actually provide a lot of DME, Durable Medical Equipment to the patients.
We do hospital beds. We do wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, blood pressure monitors. Basically anything an outpatient that whatever equipment they would need to go home with is usually provided through prosthetics.
I work in the administrative side so when they need something replaced or repaired, they usually talk to me first. I also run several other programs that help them with making their home and their vehicle accessible.
Well I can tell you that my first impression of the VA was obviously that it's an old organization and kind of behind the times. It's not it's actually the contrary; they are leading the way in a lot of research especially in prosthetics.
The VA's very actively involved in a lot of the research out there for new limbs, lower extremities and upper extremities. This is a, it's called a Myoelectric Arm. It's basically the latest prosthetic device out there for upper extremity amputees.
This job is very important and I, I look at it as a continuation of my service. I work directly with veterans and people that come from the same, this military background that I do, it's just, it's a win-win situation.
From the day you get there, they're training you to be a future leader and that's exactly how I feel now. Since the beginning of my internship to now, I feel like I've been kind of groomed and trained.
My interaction with the veterans is probably my favorite part of the job. As you know, you know, different people have different personalities so every day is different. I wanted a job that's rewarding and, you know, the pay, it's good but that's not the reason why I'm here.
It just feels good when you go home and you, you have a sense of accomplishment, you know, of a greater good,serving the veterans that served this country and me being one of them. One day, I, you know, I hope to be taken care of just like I'm taking care of them now. ”
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