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Community Integration in Action: Advocating a Disability Rating

Sometimes our veteran success stories hit closer to home than you would think. This was the case with Permian Warrior Partnership (PWP) supporting army veteran Sara Whitsell with her disability obstacles.

In 1985, while serving in the army, Sara was involved in a vehicle roll-over accident which resulted in fracturing her pelvis, compressing her Thoracic spine, and losing two of her front teeth. Sara was separated with a 20% overall disability rating. Over time, however, these injuries led to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Subglottic Stenosis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Depression. Because her disability rating was so low, Sara was paying out of pocket for a large portion of her medical expenses.

Roy Dobbins, PWP Program Lead, had a personal connection to this story since Sara is his sister. Roy knew that PWP’s network of resources could support Sara in cushioning the financial burden of her growing medical conditions. PWP encouraged Sara to research her needs and was able to help her in re-submitting for disability, where she was relieved to find that her approved claims provided a 100% Service Connected (SC) Disability rating.

"You guys are amazing; I would not be here without you. This means the world to my family.” – Sara Whitsell

Thanks to PWP, the VA Community Care Program now covers Sara's medical expenses. Having a 100% SC rating has also afforded her husband much-needed medical insurance through the CHAMP-VA program. Sara was incredibly grateful for the support that PWP was able to provide for her and her family. Although this work will not undo Sara’s medical complications, we are elated that we can provide holistic support to her and so many other veterans in making their adjustments to civilian life that much easier.


With support from caring and passionate donors, Permian Warrior Partnership (PWP) continues empowering our community to empower our veterans. Please consider making a donation today to PWP. Your generous, tax-deductible contribution supports PWP's collaborative work across the Permian Basin to meet veterans where they are, ensuring they are connected to all the resources and opportunities they have earned.


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