Hard Financial Times for Amputee
"Morales of Port Washington, N.Y., suffered the worst injuries of those who survived. After nine months of convalescence, rehabilitation and physical therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., he still struggles to walk with his prosthesis. "It's very hard because my stump and my leg are very short," he says.
A greater worry, he says, is the financial future facing him, his wife, Jennifer, and their 8-month-old son, Jayden. Although some amputees remain in the Army, Morales is increasingly fearful he will be forced into medical retirement at age 25. "I'm running out of ideas," he says with urgency. "I'm running out of ways to try and figure out about how I'm going to support my family."
He has received $50,000 in a military insurance payout for the loss of his leg. His Army income is less than $20,000 a year.
If her husband is medically retired, Jennifer Morales says she is uncertain what the Department of Veterans Affairs or military retirement could provide. She says it could be as little as $15,000 to $20,000 per year. Jose Morales knows the VA offers vocational training. But he says he has no plans yet because his focus has always been the Army. "
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