At COSF we have a simple mantra – They Stood for Us. We Stand With Them. We are committed to providing support for veterans from any generation, regardless of discharge status. Veterans with “bad paper”, who were separated from the military with Other than Honorable discharges – often as a result of untreated Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury - are falling through the cracks. Soldiers like Michael Wells, a veteran whose two combat tours left him with both mental and physical wounds. In his own words, Mike tells us about the challenges he and his family continue to face. This Veteran’s Day, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read his story and join us in our efforts to ensure that no veteran family is left behind. – Kristy Kaufmann, Executive Director, Code of Support Foundation
I want to get my story out there to raise awareness for PTSD, TBI and Other than Honorable discharges. Not everyone who has a less than Honorable discharge is a scumbag. Some of us were simply reacting to situations that were out of our control. I did what I did because I feared for my safety and the safety of those around me. There is hope for us. – Michael Wells, Combat Veteran
Shortly after graduating high school at 18 years old, I went down to the recruiting station. I was drawn to the Navy for the sole purpose of becoming a Navy Corpsman; a Medic attached to a Marine unit. After talking to the Navy recruiter, it was determined that prior injuries would bar me from enlisting in the Navy. I went next door to the Army office to see what my options were. The recruiter was showing me a tape of certain Army Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and the only one that appealed to me was a Tanker.