Many months ago, I called Alpha for the first time and spoke to Mr. Stephen Vaughn, one of Alpha’s veterans advocates.  We were talking about my situation as a 64-year-old single father of a nine-year-old son. I became very emotional and couldn’t control my tears. Mr. Vaughn detected something that I’d been living with for 43 years.

I Never Knew About PTSD

My life had completely changed after my tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Vaughn was the first person that took the time and care to talk with me. He told me that he thought I may be suffering from PTSD. I didn’t even know what that acronym meant. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) But he did a very professional job of explaining symptoms of PTSD to me.  Because of him I was able to start the process of understanding myself.

Talking it Out

Alpha Disability, and especially my advocate, Mr. Vaughn, stuck with me.  They sent a claim to the VA on my behalf, which led to the scheduling of many appointments with different mental health specialists from the VA. I’d never talked with anyone about problems I faced every day. I was a Marine. We were taught to never talk about our problems. Over the course of several months I was evaluated many times by many doctors.  The final diagnosis was that, yes, I do suffer from PTSD as a result of my duty in Vietnam.

Better Able to Live

With the service connection rating of 70 percent for PTSD I was also awarded a 100 percent rating for Individual Unemployability. Now the compensation benefits I’m getting have made it possible for me to provide for my son for the first time without having to worry about finances.  And, after the past 43 years, I am now better able to live my life.

I am so grateful to you Mr. Vaughn, and Alpha Disability. You have changed my life.

– Richard Carlton

Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.