Commentary: Thank you, Delaware Military Support Organization

Delaware Military Support Organization, and its generous donors, I wanted to extend my deepest thanks, gratitude, for the assistance, and help that I received.

I was wounded on my deployment in 2016, and have multiple injuries with a complicated care plan. I was hospitalized for five months in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After coming out of the hospital; I was receiving outpatient ongoing care at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C. and Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Every week, I was traveling over 500 miles for testing, appointments and ongoing treatment. Due to a financial error though MyPay, and unpaid travel vouchers, I had 90 percent of my paycheck withheld for four months, for a debt that was erroneously created.

There was nothing finance could do, and MyPay couldn’t stop the debt, so for four months I received $223.70 a month. Not receiving a paycheck put me in severe financial distress. I had money saved, but not enough to cover all of my additional expenses with traveling every week for medical care, managing a household, and two children in high school.

MSgt. Heather E. Cameron

I began to use my credit card to cover bills, mortgage and buying food. I also had to cover my travel expenses upfront, and then would receive compensation five to seven days afterwards. I was absolutely devastated, and while in recovery I was carrying the additional stress and most days in tears because there was nothing finance could do. My First Sgt counsel, Airmen & Family readiness, every outlet I went to for help, seemed to be unable to help immediately, which is what I needed.

My situation was unique and no one had ever dealt with that large of an error, and that large of an amount of needed support. I received a call from my Wounded Warrior Advocate, Mr. Tresler, that he had found an organization that could help me.

He gave me the contact information for DMSO, and Mr. Bill Hare. After one phone call, Mr. Hare told me he was able to help me. Delaware Military Support Organization provided me with gift cards, vouchers and additional help to be able to purchase food, gas, and cover my miscellaneous expenses. I was able to focus on my treatment, my ongoing medical care, and wasn’t stressing over the simple things, getting gas, being able to buy groceries.

I wasn’t panicking driving to DC thinking I wouldn’t be able to get home, since I was able to buy gas with the gift card.

Additionally, while still receiving no paycheck, my car broke down, and required a expensive repair of the water pump and timing belt. All the traveling had taken its toll, and again I didn’t know where to turn. DMSO stepped in, and paid for the repair cost directly to the shop, and the shop even negated the repair for just parts and minimal labor. I’m not used to needing to ask for help. I’m used to helping others and being there for everyone else. I needed the help this time, and Mr. Hare and DMSO were directly there for me.

My continued medical care, and recovery wouldn’t have been as healing if it wasn’t for the assistance I received. Words cannot express the gratitude, and thanks I have for everyone who made the support possible.

Donors, businesses, your donation to Delaware Military Support Organization pulled me out of a deep hole, and put me back on my feet. Mr. Hare has become a friend, and knowing that DMSO is there if I need them is something I will always hold close.

I will be forever grateful.

Heather E. Cameron is a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

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