QUICK 5: Samantha Thomas becomes the first female certified duty officer at the RCAV | News
Samantha Thomas has joined the Disabled American Veterans of Rogers County as the first female Certified Duty Officer. She will work with veterans to navigate their claims for benefits.
Hometown: broken arrow
Hobby: I enjoy running my antique stand, selling stickers online, and growing marijuana with my husband, which is one of my main methods of recovery from cancer.
Live: I served in the US Army as a supply specialist for 6 years. I was active and reserve. I moved on to the Air National Guard and served 7 years as a supply specialist. Being in multiple departments is useful because of the knowledge I can bring to the DAV.
Family: I am married and my husband is also a veteran. We have two children, Madilynn 12 and Ethan 13. Any other free time I have is dedicated to them.
What made you want to work with disabled American veterans?
I was medically discharged from the military due to cancer and Lyme disease. My cancer was a case of direct environmental exposure and that’s why I was rated 100%. With this benefit, I can help other veterans in need. Once I regained my health, I decided that I was going to dedicate the next two years of my life to doing good to others in order to give back.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
I hope to help veterans get their benefits because being able to get 100% assessed and getting full benefits has helped me a lot. There are veterans who don’t even know all the benefits. I didn’t know all my benefits until I became an affiliate here.
What is one thing you want the audience to know about your role?
There are so many things that go into filing complaints that it can be confusing and it’s not easy for everyone, which is why we’re here to help. Even us professionals have to work together here. I want veterans to know that there are places to go for help and that the process can be difficult for everyone.
What do you expect from your role?
I learned through therapy that one of the things that helps me is helping others. Because I have these benefits through the VA, I can come here two days a week and not worry about working and supporting my family and wanting to help others benefit as well. This role matches my skills and availability and I will be able to spend time with my family. I missed so much time with my kids because I was in the military and I was sick so if I’m not working at DAV or doing my hobbies all my time is spent with my family and I’m grateful that I don’t have to miss anything else with them.
How important is your program?
There are so many veterans in need. Not everyone makes it and gets a rating for their disability that can fully help them financially. These people who are not fully assessed but have serious medical issues, they struggle a lot in life to move on and feed their families. There are a lot of mental health issues among veterans, a lot of PTSD. When certain veterans receive documents from the VA with bad news, it becomes overwhelming and we take that stress away from them. If you receive a letter, bring it to us. Do not worry.