Matthew is a 52-year-old, gender nonconforming Army veteran. In 2002, during combat training at Fort Benning, Matthew was victimized by brutal and continuous hazing and military sexual assault directed by the training staff. Consequently, Army doctors diagnosed Matthew with psychiatric disabilities. Unfortunately, Matthew was discharged without the treatment or provisions they needed for service-connected disabilities, leading to many years of homelessness and exacerbated psychiatric crises.
Upon learning they might access care through help from Swords to Plowshares, Matthew came to Swords in 2021 to get help for the compensation claim based on their service-connected disabilities. Within a year, Swords succeeded in getting Matthew designated a 100% disability rating with full compensation benefits, including lifelong VA medical care. Now, Matthew can build a better future for themself that includes improved health care and a more sanitary, safe, and stable living condition.
Upon learning about this VA decision, Matthew reached out to Swords to Plowshares to become a monthly donor to show their gratitude. Matthew will make a monthly donation of $300 for 18 months to support the work Swords’ Legal team does.
Swords to Plowshares made a huge difference in my life. While my disability still has limitations, I feel so much more at peace,” says Matthew.