Hosted By: Boot Campaign Veteran Ambassador Joni Marquez
Jun 07 2017 - Jun 30
The Boot Campaign single-handedly changed the course of my life. I suffered from severe depression and PTSD for years while I was in the military. I was the Fire Control Officer on the AC-130H that was overhead the night that Extortion 17 was shot down on 6 Aug 2011. After witnessing one of the greatest losses of American lives in a single event during the war in Afghanistan, it took a significant toll on me mentally. And then as I watched a cover-up unfold before me…I continued in a downward spiral. I was somewhere in between being too afraid to say anything due to being active duty…yet willing to risk it all in order for the 31 heroes that were killed that night to be vindicated. Almost 5 hellacious years later after the event, and being pushed pills (from the military behavioral health), as well as speaking to numerous therapists… I was finally medically discharged in Feb of 2016. I moved once for a job, that I along with almost 100 others ended up getting laid off from after the election, and then had to move a second time back home in order to get my feet under me. Before my move back home, and during my time in Orlando, it took 9 months for my first appointment for my PTSD (my chief complaint and reason for being released from the Air Force) to be scheduled. Let me say that again…it took 9 months for my PTSD to be addressed by the VA. Despite the appointment being made, I wasn’t able to make it due to me having to relocate and not wanting to bare my soul to a therapist that I would only see one time…that’s when the Boot Campaign stepped in. After being accepted into the program, within a few weeks they had me on a plane and in Dallas, TX before I could so much as blink my eyes. Their response was more than timely and was a refreshing welcome as to how people should be treated. Once in Dallas, I was given a rental car and put up in the Cooper Hotel/Cooper Clinic, which is the equivalent of spa retreat/resort location. Everything was paid for to include my meals, and had I been employed they would’ve taken care of any missed wages. The medical treatment that I received through the Cooper Clinic was the best that I’ve ever experienced in my life and the thoroughness was very informative and life-saving. I never knew that I had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), nor was I aware that I had skin cancer. The Boot Campaign ensured that I was treated on the spot and paid for the removal of the cancer as well as the brain health workup through UT Dallas that conducts the MRI’s. It was through the staff at UT, that a treatment plan was created in order to treat my TBI and complex PTSD. Overall, the entire program lasted two months…calculating to about 30K, not to mention that every two months I’m requested to come back to be re-evaluated (possibly an additional 4K). I don’t think that 5 stars really does this program any justice when rating it, nor does it sum up its ability to significantly increase a veterans quality of life. The Boot Campaign and their ReBOOT program saved my life, and for that, I can honestly say that it is worth every penny that a person can donate. Please consider the Boot Campaign for those of us suffering from the invisible wounds of war. Thank you, and God Bless you for the lives that you are about to save.