Veteran John Lawrence, 29, joined the Air Force to go to school, learn a trade and travel the world. He served for six years as an electrician and spent part of that time in Tokyo, Japan.
Today, he lives in Sugar Hill, Georgia, with his wife, Heta and their two children, Elsa and Niilo. He still copes with service-related injuries, including a stretched wrist ligament, bad knees and lower back and neck pain.
Most notably, Lawrence suffers from severe anxiety. To manage it, he undergoes monthly counseling, does yoga and meditates. Even so, it can be a struggle.
After a series of panic attacks at work, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence was let go from his job. He was encouraged to seek financial support and discovered the VFW's Unmet Needs program.
Before receiving the grant, Lawrence feared he would have to choose between paying his mortgage or childcare.
“I really don’t know what I would have done. This assistance means the world to me,” he said. “It covered a month of childcare while I went on interviews. With the help, I was able to land a new job in a less stressful environment.”
Lawrence is eager to get back on track financially and is thankful to the VFW and its donors for helping him along the way. He hopes others realize the impact they can make.
“For those considering giving, know your donation can change a family’s situation,” he said. “It will alleviate stress and financial burdens brought on by unexpected circumstances.”
As soon as Lawrence can, he plans to give back and donate to the VFW himself. He hopes to help fellow veterans in need and offers advice following his own experience.
“You don’t know when life is going to hit a speedbump,” he reflected. “This time a year ago, I never would have thought I’d need financial assistance.
“Don’t be too proud to ask for help,” he insisted. “Your family depends on you.
“Thank you, VFW!”
Learn more about the VFW’s Unmet Needs program.